LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Using the power of photojournalism to expose social, economic and ecological injustice

Posts from the ‘Racism’ category

Note: Sadly my scanner refused to work today and scan more of the photos from this period in history. History can be a revolutionary teacher. Since this is a presidential election year, please see the end of this essay for a quote from Mumia Abu-Jamal on what elections mean.- Orin Langelle

Two protesters slammed to the asphalt by police as they tried to block President Bill Clinton and his motorcade from attending the National Governor’s Association conference in the Sheraton Hotel in Burlington, VT – Photo: Langelle (1995)

Burlington, VT- National Governors’ Conference July 28-Aug 1, 1995

Four days of militant protest in defense of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal

 

Governor Ridge Welcoming Committee

All photos by Orin Langelle (1995)

Burlington, VT – A coalition of groups demonstrated against the impending execution of award-winning journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal during the National Governor’s Association conference held in that city. The militant protests spanned five days from July 28th to August 1st, and were directed at Pennsylvania’s then Governor Tom Ridge, who signed the death warrant for Jamal.  Jamal was to be executed August 17, 1995.  Ultimately the death warrant was rescinded and Abu-Jamal is still alive.  Ridge later became the Director of Homeland Security after September 11, 2001.

The convener of the conference, VT Governor Howard Dean went on to run for president, but that’s another story…

Burlington was not the only city that erupted in defense of Abu-Jamal. Protests were international.

Many suffer from the induced historical amnesia caused by the corporate press, incessant advertising and so on.  In an effort to counter that collective amnesia, and in time for the Northeast Governor’s Conference and protests this weekend in Burlington, VT,  we are providing this photo of the month from the 1995 National Governor’s Association conference protests, plus below are a few excerpts from Refuse and Resist (in their own words) that describe in detail the events that occurred over those 5 days of militant protest.

[I could not find the link for this post but it is an authentic and was covered on the ground]

“We not only rained on the Governors’ Conference parade,” said Deb Ormsbee, “we pissed on it!” Ormsbee, of the Burlington Solidarity Coalition, was one of the 8 arrested on Monday’s street blockade in front of the Sheraton hotel where President Clinton addressed the governors. There were a total of 24 arrests by Mumia supporters during the four day conference. All 24 arrestees are out of custody from the state.

From Refuse and Resist:

Burlington, VT, Thursday, July 28, 1995 —

…Bishop Angell of the Catholic Diocese of Burlington issued a press release asking Pennsylvania Governor Ridge to rescind the warrant of execution of the four men scheduled for death in August. Bishop Angell joined Philadelphia Cardinal Bevilacqua who strongly encouraged Ridge to not allow the imposition of the death penalty.

 

Breakfast was spoiled when the governors arrived at the Ethan Allen Homestead, named after Ethan Allen, who stole Abenaki Indigenous Peoples’ land in the 1700’s

 

Friday, July 29, 1995

Today, Saturday, July 29, there was a low-key opening to the National Governors Convention in the small liberal city of Burlington, Vermont, but Mumia supporters have already taken to the streets to show their anger to governor Ridge.

Two women Mumia supporters breached Sheraton hotel security and set foot in the Emerald Ballroom where a plenary session of the Governors’ Conference was taking place on July 29. The women were escorted out shouting, “Free Mumia Now!”

Other clandestine activities occurred that the Mumia Solidarity Coalition were not privy to or involved with during the four days of militant action here. Saturday morning’s breakfast was spoiled when the governors arrived at the Ethan Allen Homestead; named after Vermont’s first famous racist, Ethan Allen, who blatantly stole Abenaki indigenous peoples’ land in the 1700’s. The museum garage was spray painted with numerous slogans including, “Fuck You Gov Tom Ridge, Ridge is a racist”, and “FREE MUMIA.” Vermont Governor Howard Dean called the graffiti, “an embarrassment to the state.” Other reports came in that the electric buses transporting the governors at various times were also egged.

Words and image of the rage against a system of death

 

 

 

 

In a park by a pretty lake, the Progressive Coalition (surely everyone out there knows Bernie Sanders? the so-called “socialist” (NOT!) congressman from Vermont) organized an alternative event called the People’s Conference for Economic Democracy. There were lots of speakers and a parade of 2,000 people through the city. This march was led by a theatre group with an awesome big “Free Mumia!” banner.

Peter Schumann with Bread and Puppet lead the march. Schumann is the founder and director of the Bread & Puppet Theater

At the back of the march, there was a bloc of 200 Mumia supporters. Despite being a wicked hot day (ouch! I feel the sunburn as I type!) the mood was good. The Mumia bloc led a diversion near the end of the march and went right to the front doors of the Radisson Hotel where the governors and their families and staff are mostly staying. Other folks joined in and there was an awesome crowd of like 300 people chanting really loud stuff and a very nervous line of Vermont police and hotel staff keeping people out. Lots of media, too, like C-SPAN and CNN and others. Eventually people ended the hotel siege feeling really good. (The police dogs showed up after we had already left.)

In the evening, actions continued as 100 Mumia supporters took to the streets and headed down to the lakefront where the governors were having a nice dinner. Police set up barricades, so people just took over the streets and caused traffic havoc. Some buses of important people got snarled, but eventually made it in by another entrance. This whole deal lasted in the streets for about two hours. The cops threatened to intervene, but didn’t. Then we went back to the downtown shopping street where there was a tent set up for a nice dinner for the staff people, complete with crappy Vermont country music. We responded with newspaper boxes used for a metal jam and other general noise making. All the people trying to enjoy their quaint evening looked less than happy. As did the cops.

Oh yeah, while we were messing up evening traffic, a group of four people got onto the New York-Vermont ferry boat which comes into port right next to the boathouse where the governors were dining and unfurled a huge “Free Mumia!” banner which was viewed by all the governors. Hopefully Ridge saw this! These people were not arrested and were simply escorted away after getting off the boat. They even kept the banner! Good job!

All in all, a really spirited day. Our goal today was to be loud, make our presence known, and come away feeling good. I think that was all accomplished. The action at the hotel was cool, the only bummer being the realization that if a few hundred more people could have mobilized for this, it would have been amazing. There aren’t that many cops, and they aren’t too sure how to handle an angry demo. Oh well! Big thanks to all the comrades that did come, from New Jersey, Maine, Pennsylvania, Canada…lots of places!

So, no arrests today, but tomorrow, Sunday, July 30 is the day we are aiming for. With hopefully more people coming into town, we will march from downtown up to the Sheraton Hotel where the governors will be meeting. People are very determined to make their presence known! Mumia’s name was definitely heard all around town all day long today, and tomorrow should be even better.

 

[excerpted from several separate reports]

July 30 

15 protestors were arrested today in a spirited demonstration against the planned execution of prize-winning journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, whose case has become an international cause celebre. This was the second day of demonstrations in Burlington for Jamal that occurred during the National Governor’s Association annual conference. Some 150 demonstrators assembled outside the Sheraton Hotel to confront Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.

One of the marches for Mumia that week in Burlington

The protest began with a march up Main Street from Burlington’s City Hall Park to the Sheraton. Protestors, traveling from St. Louis, Philadelphia, New York, Montreal, Ontario and Boston, said that they had come to raise awareness of the ‘racist nature’ of Jamal’s case, who is scheduled to be executed on August 17th. “This is a political lynching,” said protestor Robert Newmark of New York City. “The evidence shows that Mumia is innocent and that he is being targeted for political activities.” Jamal was a leader of the Black Panther Party in Philadelphia.

As the boisterous crowd assembled outside the Sheraton, where the Governors were meeting, speeches were made and chants were shouted like “Stop the execution. Free Mumia Now!” Protestors ripped down police barricades and continually pressed closer to the Sheraton. A group of fifteen, including ten Canadians, suddenly surged over a row of hedges and through police lines in an attempt to gain access to the hotel. Police tackled and arrested the protestors, who were charged with unlawful trespass. ” We are committed to freeing Jamal by any means necessary,” said arrested protestor Jack Winston of Calias, Vermont. “This is just the beginning of a movement that is growing by leaps and bounds.”

Organizers said the demonstrations would continue through the end of the National Governors Association Tuesday, August 1.

 

July 31

Seven law officers, one protester

During Clinton’s downtown visit and tour of Burlington on July 31, several contigents of Mumia supporters vocally were on hand catching the president’s eye. One protester came within a few feet of the president, yelling Mumia slogans. The pristine image of Burlington’s business district mandated by Mayor Peter Clavelle was spoiled. Incidentally, Clavelle, who purports to be the mayor of “the People’s Republic of Burlington” refused Mumia Solidarity Coalition requests to allow pro Mumia supporters to camp in the city’s parks.

Support and legal aid for jailed protesters were overwhelming. At all times during the detentions legal and support teams were present; as were packing the courtrooms during the arraignments.

On July 31, when eight arrestees were being held in South Burlington’s Fire Station, word came that the governors were being transported via bus near the Fire House to Shelburne Farms for a “Vermont Tasting.” Jail support became a mobile protest waving signs and yelling at the cringing governors in the buses. Far from that legal protest, it was reported that as the buses neared Shelburne Farms, they were pelted by eggs.

 

August 1

Protest for Mumia Abu-Jamal, during the final day of the Governors’ Conference, was taken to a newer height. “Come on down or we’ll come up and take you down,” shouted a cop with bullhorn up to a climber perched 200 feet above on the University of Vermont water tower. On that command a 20 by 40 foot banner was unfurled proclaiming FREE MUMIA.

The banner was in full view of the Sheraton hotel where the governors, their aides and corporate sponsors were meeting. The FREE MUMIA banner was up from 8 am to 1:30 pm when the climber was taken into custody by the authorities at the official closing of the Governors’ Conference.

The banner hanging was preceded by three days of militant street demonstrations in opposition to the planned execution of black revolutionary award-winning journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal. The total four days of protest embarrassed the Governors’ Conference and succeeded in gaining media attention for Mumia’s plight.

“We not only rained on the Governors’ Conference parade,” said Deb Ormsbee, “we pissed on it!” Ormsbee, of the Burlington Solidarity Coalition, was one of the 8 arrested on Monday’s street blockade in front of the Sheraton hotel where President Clinton addressed the governors. There were a total of 24 arrests by Mumia supporters during the four day conference. All 24 arrestees are out of custody from the state.

 

the Ethan Allen Homestead; named after Vermont’s first famous racist, Ethan Allen

 

All of the above happened 25 years ago.

 

Final thoughts of this post – Prior to the Barack Obama Presidency, Mumia Abu-Jamal shares his analysis:

“Politics is the art of making people believe that they are in power when, in fact, they have none. It is a measure of how dire the hour that they’ve passed the keys of the kingdom to a Black man…. With the nation’s manufacturing base also a thing of history, amid the socioeconomic wreckage of globalization, with foreign affairs in shambles, the rulers reach for a pretty brown face to front for the Empire. Real change that you could believe in would be an end to Empire and an end to wars for corporate greed, not just a change in the shade of the political managers. That change, I’m afraid, is still to come.”

 

 

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Image: Santiago Chile – On International Human Rights Day, Dec 10, 2019 people in Chile protested the 400+ eyes lost to the Carabineros de Chile (National Police) during the days of uprising in Chile. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

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From Chile to Minneapolis: Use of ‘Less than Lethal’ Weapons by Police Draws Criticism as Means to Intimidate and Silence

New York – On Saturday, May 30, Brandon Saenz reportedly lost an eye and seven teeth when he was hit by so-called less than lethal munitions (in actuality less lethal) fired by police. Saenz was reportedly struck by a rubber bullet like munition when the Minneapolis police fired less lethal weapons at people peacefully protesting the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police.

“Hearing about the loss of an eye by Saenz immediately brought to my mind what happened prior to the COVID-19 quarantine during the peoples’ uprising in Chile,” said Orin Langelle, a GJEP photographer who documented the protests in Chile from Nov 22 to Dec 17 last year for Los Angeles’ Pacifica Radio. “The Chilean National Police targeted the heads and eyes of civilians when they used shotguns to fire rubber-coated metal pellets into their faces.”

“Over 400 people suffered serious eye injuries and some have been rendered completely blind,” said Langelle. “The stories of protesters in the U.S. and Chile about these less lethal munitions show the similarities of militarized police forces attempting to put down popular resistance to injustices in both South and North America.”

Ferguson, MO native and filmmaker, Chris Phillips, was documenting protests in Minneapolis over the killing of George Floyd when he had rubber bullets fired in his direction several times.  He was also hit in the leg by a flash bang/stun grenade during his work to video protests.

Phillips was one of the first professional videographers to capture events and protests surrounding the 2014 killing of Michael Brown. “From my experience filming in the Ferguson and Minneapolis protests, projectiles and chemical munitions have been used liberally, and often it is not preceded by any dispersal order or direction for people to go,” said Phillips.

Phillips believes the way in which less lethal munitions are being used currently seems to be illegal. “Without those directives, it is safe to assume that firing projectiles into a crowd that has the Constitutional right to assemble and protest, and not taking into consideration occupants and residents that are uninvolved in these demonstrations, makes it reckless, alluding to the purpose of serving more of a retaliatory purpose than the intent of keeping the public safe.”

Image from Phillips Instagram page: Phillips holding rubber bullet that was shot in his direction during his work as a filmmaker in Minneapolis.

Chris Phillips is principal director of the Maverick Media Group.

http://www.maverickmediagroup.net/

This indigenous Mapuche man was shot in the head with metal-filled rubber pellets by the Carabineros de Chile (national police) earlier in the morning on November 28, 2019. He was part of a Mapuche land occupation. Carabineros fired metal-filled rubber pellets and tear gas injuring several people at the land occupation.

Orin Langelle is a photojournalist with over five decades of experience.

https://photolangelle.org/

 


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Desde Chile a Minneapolis: el uso policial de armas ‘sub-letales’ genera críticas por convertirse en medios para intimidar y silenciar

Nueva York – El sábado 30 de mayo Brandon Sáenz perdió un ojo y siete dientes, según informes, cuando fue alcanzado por un proyectil de las llamadas municiones sub-letales (en realidad, ‘menos letales’) disparadas por la policía. Sáenz fue golpeado por una bala de goma cuando la policía de Minneapolis disparó su armamento sub-letal a las personas que protestaban pacíficamente por el asesinato de George Floyd a manos del mismo cuerpo policial.

“Al conocer el caso de la mutilación del ojo de Sáenz, pensé inmediatamente en lo que pasó justo antes de la cuarentena por el COVID-19 en las manifestaciones populares en Chile”, comentó Orin Langelle, un fotógrafo del Proyecto de Justicia Ecológica Global (GJEP) que documentó las protestas en Chile entre el 22 de noviembre y el 17 de diciembre del año pasado para Pacifica Radio de Los Ángeles. “La Policía Nacional de Chile disparó a la cabeza y a los ojos de los manifestantes utilizando escopetas con munición metálica recubierta de goma”.

“Más de 400 personas sufrieron heridas oculares graves y algunas quedaron completamente ciegas”, dijo Langelle. “Las historias de los manifestantes en Estados Unidos y Chile sobre el uso de estas municiones sub-letales dejan en evidencia las similitudes entre las formas en que los cuerpos de policía militarizada intentan aplastar la resistencia popular ante la injusticia tanto en América del Norte como en América del Sur”.

Imagen: Santiago de Chile- Día internacional de los Derechos Humanos, 10 de diciembre de 2019. Los manifestantes denunciaban los más de 400 ojos mutilados durante las intervenciones de los Carabineros (Policía Nacional) durante los días del levantamiento Fotografía: Langelle/GJEP

Chris Phillips, director audiovisual originario de Ferguson, en Missouri, estaba documentando las protestas en Minneapolis por el asesinato de George Floyd cuando le dispararon varias veces con balas de goma. También fue alcanzado en una pierna por una granada aturdidora mientras grababa las manifestaciones.

Phillips fue uno de los primeros cámaras profesionales que grabaron los eventos y protestas que tuvieron lugar en 2014 a raíz del asesinato de Michael Brown. “Mi experiencia después de grabar las protestas de Ferguson y Minneapolis es que los proyectiles y municiones químicas se han usado libremente y, con frecuencia, sin cualquier orden o indicación previa para que la gente se dispersase”, comenta Phillips.

Phillips cree que la forma en la que se están usando actualmente las municiones sub-letales parece ilegal. “Sin esas indicaciones, es fácil concluir que resulta temerario disparar proyectiles hacia gente que está ejerciendo su derecho constitucional de reunirse y protestar, sin contar con los residentes y viandantes ajenos a las manifestaciones, siendo más bien una acción de retaliación y no para preservar la seguridad de las personas”.

Imagen de la página de Instagram de Phillips: Phillips sujeta una bala de goma disparada hacia él mientras trabajaba grabando en Minneapolis.

Chris Phillips es Director Principal de Maverick Media Group.

http://www.maverickmediagroup.net/

A este indígena Mapuche los Carabineros de Chile (Policía Nacional) le dispararon en la cabeza con munición metálica recubierta de goma durante la mañana del 28 de noviembre de 2019. Formaba parte de una ocupación de tierras por Mapuches. Los Carabineros dispararon goma con interior metálico y gases lacrimógenos causando heridas a varias personas en la ocupación de tierras.

Orin Langelle es un fotoperiodista con más de cinco décadas de experiencia.

https://photolangelle.org/

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This video includes many of my photographs – Orin Langelle

This video was shot over the week of 25 November, during the trial of Mapuche Lonko Alberto Curamil over manufactured charges that he was involved in a robbery.

Lonko Alberto Curamíl during court hearings in Temuco, Chile               photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

In fact, his arrest and subsequent year and a half in jail awaiting trial are understood to have been retribution for his role in leading a campaign that stopped two hydroelectric projects on the Rio Cautín, a sacred river to the Mapuche, the headwaters of which start in the snowfields of the Lonquimay volcano.

Rio Cautin. The Lonko’s role in lead a campaign that stopped two hydroelectric projects on the Rio Cautín, a sacred river to the Mapuche, the headwaters of which start in the snowfields of the Lonquimay volcano. photo:Langelle/GJEP

In the video, his attorney Rodrigo Román speaks about the case and the greater issue of state repression against Mapuche people, whose land has long been the target of expropriation for industrial timber plantations.  As another Mapuche Lonko explained, “first they stole our land, now they want to steal our rivers.”

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Also please visit Mapuche Lonko Alberto Curamíl Acquitted of All Charges

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Photojournalist Orin Langelle takes a break by graffiti celebrating Victor Jara in Santiago, Chile. Langelle has been photographing the frontlines of the peoples rebellion in Chile. The musician Jara, a Chilean hero, was murdered by the regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet. photo: Petermann/GJEP

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2019 Goldman Environmental Prize winner to walk out a free man

Lonko Alberto Curamíl during court hearings in Temuco, Chile               photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Temuco, Chile – On 13 December the Court of Temuco acquitted Lonko Alberto Curamíl and Werken Álvaro Millalén of all charges, allowing the Goldman Environmental Prize winner to walk out a free man.
His daughter Belén Curamil said, “I am very happy because we knew they were innocent, both the lonko Alberto Curamil and the werken Álvaro Millalén. If they were in prison for so long, it is because they raised their voices and fought for our territory, for the freedom of our Mapu, the freedom of our rivers and the freedom of the people and the Mapuche people.”  Belén Curamil accepted the Goldman Prize on behalf of her father, because he was imprisoned awaiting trial.
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Grabbing by Capitalism

Jacqueline Patterson, NAACP’s coordinator of Environmental and Climate Justice Program addresses Buffalo’s 2nd Annual Anti-Gentrification Summit. Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Executive Director of PUSH (People United for Sustainable Housing) Buffalo is on the left. photo: Langelle

Buffalo, NY’s Anti-Gentrification Summit

plus land grabs, climate change connections

by Orin Langelle

On 17 November 2018, the OUR CITY coalition presented the Second Annual Anti-Gentrification Summit and said it would be “a day of inspiration and workshops that will help arm the citizens of Buffalo with the tools and information needed to combat the issues that matter most to us – the people!” The Summit took place at the East High School in Buffalo, NY’s East Side. The East Side is one of the most polluted areas in Buffalo.

Keynote speaker Jacqueline Patterson, NAACP’s coordinator and co-founder of its Environmental and Climate Justice Program, addressed the large diverse crowd on such themes such as climate change, capitalism and the power of the people to stand together in determination and love.

Some of the workshops scheduled at the Summit included ‘From Undocumented to Citizen: Building a City Where All Immigrants are Able to Live With Dignity and Their Rights Protected,’ ‘There’s More Than One Justice. How about Climate?’ along with ‘Collective Ownership for Community Wealth’ to name a few.

Global Justice Ecology Project‘s Executive Director Anne Petermann and I attended the conference after we were invited by Clarke Gocker, Director of Policy and Strategy of PUSH Buffalo (People United for Sustainable Housing). We both had heard of PUSH and knew a little about them, but  started to know more about them when I presented last month in Resilience: Through the Lens, a photo class for the community, organized by The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York, and the CEPA Gallery | Contemporary Photography and Visual Arts Center. Clarke was one of the people who attended.

The following week Clarke and I got together at the PUSH offices to discuss the Summit. He thought it would it would be good if I could do a workshop during the Summit. Due to a variety of circumstances the workshop didn’t happen this time.

Clarke told me when we met at the PUSH offices prior to the Summit that he was inspired by my work documenting the resistance of communities, both globally and nationally. And how my photos on displacements–such as schemes to take Indigenous Peoples’ lands that would lead to the relocation of those communities, to other communities standing up to displacement due to fracked gas pipelines–could connect to anti-gentrification work. I never thought of my work relating to gentrification, but it made sense.

Most of my life I’ve worked to find and expose the intersections between ecology and economics; helping bridge one issue to other issues to help build anti-capitalist solidarity. But like so many others there is almost always is a disconnect of issues somewhere and gentrification was my disconnect. It is no longer.

Many of us who have worked for the planet, for communities and for the people have had instances of not finding, or unable to build, the bridges necessary for open dialogue. It happens far more too often than it should.

Gentrification and other Land Grabs can be bridges of understanding between those who live in cities and those who live in less populated communities. And like it or not, climate chaos is a bridge to the mutual aid we all must practice because I don’t believe the government will be of much assistance except to help the ruling class that is predominantly white.

An interesting article, HOW THE RICH WILL SURVIVE CLIMATE CHANGE DISASTER was published online in The Outline. Here is the final paragraph:

We are entering a dystopian future in which class-privileged white people are using privatized systems and their obscene wealth to avoid the catastrophic environmental effects of the racist capitalist system that they forced upon the world. While they are funding these privatized resource systems with the wealth they built off of marginalized peoples, wealthy white people are simultaneously supporting Trump in droves, who blamed forest management for [the California] fires and derided a United Nations report released last month finding that the world has 12 years to avert global environmental catastrophe. These fires and their disparate impact demonstrate a necessity for structural action on climate change and support for those who will be most harmed—poor people and people of color.

On a much brighter note it was great to see and talk, unfortunately only briefly, with Jacqui Patterson. Anne Petermann I have known Jacqui for over a decade due to working on Climate Justice issues nationally and internationally. Not many people can say that they’ve driven into a hurricane so they could be there to be of assistance. Jacqui can.

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Note: This comes from The Public, a widely read weekly in the Buffalo, NY region. I want to point out that Climate Change: Realities and Resistance is an international exhibit first displayed at the UN climate negotiations in Paris last December. The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery is pleased to host it’s first viewing in North America. The photography exhibit was curated by the Critical Information Collective.  – Orin Langelle

Events

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Photo: Luka Tomac [Croatia] Indigenous protestors at UNF climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico (2010)

Photo: Luka Tomac [Croatia] Indigenous protestors at UNF climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico (2010)

by Evan James

[ART] The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery presents a thought provoking look at some of today’s most troubling issues in Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change. Intended to explore the causes of climate change, and how racism, classism, and environmental destruction play into it, this show contains Climate Change: Realities and Resistance, a national exhibit featuring pictures from climate photographers, and Black on the Ground, White in the Air, an exhibit from artist Ashley Powell who made national waves with her “White Only” art project at UB. This exhibit opens Friday, March 4 running from 6pm to 9pm, but the exhibit will be on display until April 29.

When:
Fri Mar. 4, 6:00pm

Where:
Buen Vivir

148 Elmwood
Buffalo, NY

This article can be found in The Public here.

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