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

Posts tagged ‘racism’


All photos are by Orin Langelle/GJEP
Buffalo, NY – 14 June 2020 – Around 100 people came to the city’s Columbus Park to protest the Columbus statue and demand that it be taken down. All across the country, people are taking steps to remove racist monuments and change the name of parks and other public facilities that celebrate the brutal slave-holding legacy of the Confederacy and its most prominent figures. The Confederacy served to cover up the moral outrages of slavery and dismiss the voices outrages of slavery and the voices of African-Americans whose ancestors were held in bondage, systematically kidnapped, beaten, and sexually assaulted.

KEN-A-RAH-DI-YO speaks to the protesters gathered in Columbus Park. He passed the statement (further down in this post) to the crowd. KEN-A-RAH-DI-YO is a representative for International Native Traditional Interchange (INTI) and is involved with the the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).

Many Indigenous Peoples and their supporters are calling for the City of Buffalo to change the name of Columbus Park and to remove the monument that now stands there in honor of Christopher Columbus.

Protesters in Columbus Park

One Indigenous person in attendance told the crowd, “I don’t believe the city will voluntarily take the statue down. We’ll have to do this ourselves.” Those words were met with applause from those in attendance.

Hangman’s noose around Columbus’ neck


The petition to the City of Buffalo says:

“Columbus did not ‘discover’ anything – the Americas were inhabited by a great diversity of people and cultures. Instead, Columbus established the beachhead for ruthless conquest and settler colonialism and inaugurated the genocidal devastation of whole continents. Many millions of people lived in the Western Hemisphere before the arrival of Columbus, untold numbers of them killed by disease. But disease was not the only, nor the cruelest, of the demons that arrived with Columbus.”

The Petition continues:

“Bartolome de las Casas, who began as an enslaver of the native Taino people of Hispaniola, whom Columbus had “discovered,” wrote of, “…the massacre of these wretches, whom they have so inhumanely and barbarously butcher’d and harrass’d with several kinds of torments, never before known, or heard… of three millions of persons, which lived in Hispaniola itself, there is at present but the inconsiderable remnant of scarce three hundred.” Columbus personally launched the enslavement and genocide of Native people and the colonization of the Hemisphere which would be his legacy.

Sign: Petition

KEN-A-RAH-DI-YO’s statement passed to the crowd:


Carl Jamieson

John Kane is a Mohawk who is a radio host and producer, who broadcasts from the Cattaraugus Territory of the Seneca Nation

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Under Attack: Environmental Racism for Economic Benefit and Convenience
First Friday Artist’s Talk by Ashley Powell on April 1 at 7 p.m.

Buffalo, NY (March 23, 2016) – Controversial artist Ashley Powell [1] will discuss her exhibit, Black on the Ground, White in the Air, on First Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m. at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art [2], 148 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo.

Powell will talk about her exhibit and its relation to environmental racism, a topic of special relevance right now in light of rising awareness of lead poisoning in children of color and from low-income families in Flint Michigan, as well as right here in Buffalo. Powell’s installation challenges people to think about the impacts of environmental racism and classism.

Powell says:

“Once again, we find ourselves attacked, and this attack isn’t physically immediate or verbally abusive, but it certainly is sinister, covert, and ongoing. Its onset is slow but the damage is long lasting. We are being attacked with environmental racism and classism. This type of racism doesn’t thrive off of foul words and violence, and this classism doesn’t inspire juxtapositions of economic disparity and grotesque frivolity. Instead, it is a type of racism and classism that perpetuates a system that lawfully allows for low-income and non-white peoples to be deliberately subjected to debilitating pollution, toxicity, and degradation, all for economic benefit and convenience.”

The Opening for Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change, March 4, 2016

The Opening for Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change, March 4, 2016

Powell’s Black on the Ground, White in the Air, is part of a the show Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change which also includes: Climate Change—Realities and Resistance, by international photographers from the Critical Information Collective makes its US debut after hanging at the UN Paris climate summit in December

The artist’s talk will be held on First Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m. at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art, 148 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. The gallery will be open for Allentown’s First Friday from 6 – 9 p.m. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

This event is free and open to the public.

Gallery Hours: The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Friday evening 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday afternoon 1 to 3 p.m., and by special appointment. The show runs through April 29.

Contact: Kip Doyle, Media Coordinator, <[email protected]> +1.716.867.4080


Notes to Editor:

[1] Ashley Powell is a graduate student in the art department at the University of Buffalo. She made national headlines last fall when she executed a controversial art project on campus consisting of “White only” and “Black only” signs on elevators, restrooms and benches around campus. See New York Times article: White Only’ Signs in Art Project at SUNY Buffalo Draw Concern.

 [2] The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art presents visual art in diverse media. The gallery sets itself apart by presenting work with thought-provoking messages in this quickly changing and challenging world of politics, ecology and economy.The gallery was founded to present an historical look at movements for change, struggle and everyday life. It is designed to counter the societal amnesia from which we collectively suffer—especially with regard to the history of social and ecological movements and issues, and to inspire new generations to participate in the making of a better world.

The name of the gallery, ¡Buen Vivir!, is a concept stemming from Indigenous and other cultures of the Southern Americas. ¡Buen vivir! means life in harmony between humans, communities, and the Earth–where work is not a job to make others wealthier, but for a livelihood that is sustaining, fulfilling, and in tune with the common good.

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