Working amid great chaos, photographers, filmmakers, and contemporary artists are exploring new ways to use their mediums to advocate for social change. This course will examine some of the people, collectives, and organizations working globally that use the realm of the visual to address and advocate for human rights and social justice. Students will learn about practitioners in socially engaged art, concerned photography, cultural organizing, public art, interactive film, and more. The class will include regular visits to (or guests from) artists’ and photographers’ studios, and the esteemed foundations and organizations supporting this work. Students will gain a new understanding of the arts as a provocative and wholly vital field that actively seeks social progress. A final paper will be required.
Danielle Jackson is deeply committed to bringing discrete people, ideas, and disciplines together. She is the co-founder of the Bronx Documentary Center, an internationally-recognized gallery and educational space that uses photojournalism and documentary film to create conversation on social change. Formerly, she ran the cultural department at Magnum Photos NY where she coordinated a range of lectures, traveling exhibitions and retrospectives for museums, universities, and photo festivals in more than a dozen countries. Her observations on cultural practice can be found on Twitter @Makerthinker. She holds a BFA in Film and Television and MA in Africana Studies from NYU.