To Fight Trump, First Learn How to See

Artists Carrie Mae Weems and LaToya Ruby Frazier discuss creating art in 2017.

Carrie Mae Weems, Sarah Lewis, and LaToya Ruby Frazier

L to R: Carrie Mae Weems, Sarah Lewis, LaToya Ruby Frazier.
Stephanie Black / The Green Space at WNYC

by Mattie Kahn, ELLE
Jan 11, 2017

Hosted by Rebecca Carroll, WNYC producer for special projects on race, photographers LaToya Ruby Frazier and Carrie Mae Weems; and Harvard University art history professor Sarah Lewis, engage in a discussion on celebrating and advancing visual literacy around race, and what it feels like to be American and black during this dichotomous time of triumph and tragedy.

LaToya Frazier - Flint Is Family

©LaToya Ruby Frazier. From the series “Flint Is Family,” 2016

Like Weems, fellow MacArthur “Genius” Award winner LaToya Ruby Frazier has devoted her career to explorations of power and oppression. And she isn’t prepared to accept a post-election imperative that puts the onus on people of color to reach out to racists and bigots. “[We’re] always being asked to forgive, always being told to be silent, always being told…to try to empathize with our oppressors and the people that have murdered us for centuries,” she said. “It’s enough.” She wants, she said, to save her energies for the work that matters, to keep her focus on the most marginalized Americans—on poor people, minorities, women.

Carroll stressed that this commitment to seek justice in art isn’t new. Art offers, she wrote in a follow-up email, “an inimitable, one-time only, capsule piece of nonfiction.” We have to keep looking for new ways to create these capsules, Lewis insisted, and to look for ways to progress.

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Courtesy of: and The Green Space at WNYC

Aperture releases “The Notion Of Family” in paperback

The Notion of Family paperback

The Notion Of Family
Photographs by LaToya Ruby Frazier
Interview by Dawoud Bey Essays by Laura Wexler and Dennis C. Dickerson

Now available in a paperback edition, LaToya Ruby Frazier’s award-winning first book, The Notion Of Family, offers an incisive exploration of the legacy of racism and economic decline in America’s small towns, as embodied by her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania. The work also considers the impact of that decline on the community and on her family, creating a statement both personal and truly political— an intervention in the histories and narratives of the region.

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LaToya Ruby Frazier receives New Museum Next Gen Award

2016 NEXTGEN dinner honoring LaToya Ruby FrazierOn the “A” w/Souleo: Presidential Election Looms over New Museum Next Generation Dinner
by Peter “Souleo” Wright

There couldn’t be a more opportune time for the New Museum to honor photographer, LaToya Ruby Frazier than near the end of a tumultuous presidential election season. This past Friday in New York, Frazier was honored at the annual Next Gen dinner for her social and environmental justice driven work that explores political topics such as global warming, health care, and economic inequities.

Massimiliano Gioni, artistic director at the New Museum shared that Frazier’s work takes on added weight as voters head to the polls. “LaToya’s work forces institutions and people to be aware of their position and their responsibilities and consequences,” he said. “Sadly it’s very inspiring work during time of [the] election. It shouldn’t be but it is a reminder of what’s at stake.”

No matter which candidate wins the presidency, Frazier will continue exploring disadvantaged communities. Her next series, set to debut in a solo show in February 2017 at MAC’s in Belgium, investigates coal mining villages in the area. Again, it’s particularly timely as presidential candidate, Donald Trump has reportedly stated he would “save” the coal industry.

“You have Trump and [Mike] Pence running on a message that the U.S. has a war on coal. What I’m doing in this new series is interviewing and making collaborative photographs with people who are former coal miners from Belgium,” she said. “My work has taken on a cross-cultural conversation with coal juxtaposed to the 12 years I documented about what it means to be poor in a post-Reagan era in Braddock, Pennsylvania.” Frazier explained.

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Courtesy of: The Huffington Post