CHARLOTTESVILLE & BEYOND

On August 11, 2017 white supremacists from around the country descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, to “Unite the Right” and protest the removal of Confederate monuments — long a symbol of America’s oppressive racial history.

Featuring work by: Evelyn Hockstein, Mark Peterson, Ruddy Roye, Hilary Swift, and Nina Berman

Produced and Presented by

United Photo Industries for Photoville

Curated by
Laura Roumanos, Sam Barzilay & Dave Shelley

Proudly supported and printed by
Picto New York

Educational Resources provided by
The Southern Poverty Law Center

 

 

On August 11, 2017 white supremacists from around the country descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, to “Unite the Right”  and protest the removal of Confederate monuments — long a symbol of America’s oppressive racial history.

That evening, hundreds carried torches as they marched on the University of Virginia chanting “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us”. The images evoked scenes from Nazi Germany and KKK cross burnings.  The next day, several hundred more, armed with shields and a variety of  weapons, including fire arms, marched with neo Nazi flags in a “Unite the Right” rally. Unlike KKK rallies and white supremacist marches of the past, these mainly young demonstrators, were mostly unmasked.  The day saw brutal clashes and ended with one neo-Nazi ramming his car into a group of unarmed counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.

This is 2017. How can there still be rallies advocating hate? How can this mindset still exist? Where do we draw the line between “free speech” and “hate speech”?

The events of that weekend triggered various protests and counter protests. Tweets, photos and videos went viral and the photographs that were published wouldn’t leave our minds: Evelyn Hockstein’s no-holds-barred images of marchers with tiki torches, Mark Peterson’s chilling photos of the faces of violence, Ruddy Roye’s poignant photos of a community struggling in the aftermath, and Hillary Swift’s coverage of the massive counter rally in Boston the week after.

Meanwhile, we here at United Photo Industries sat safely in our gallery in DUMBO, planning our festival and wondering how we could respond. In the 11th hour, we contacted the four photographers you see in this container and, within 24 hours, all four agreed without hesitation to share their images and their stories.

These protests did not happen out of nowhere.  To provide context and to understand the historical moment, we also included a video that Nina Berman had shared with us weeks earlier,  depicting the events around the Inauguration of Donald Trump, through the framework of a Nazi propaganda film.

With the help of Picto New York and our amazing team, we started putting together this exhibition. We discussed how the events of Charlottesville didn’t happen overnight. We talked about how to tackle hate, and how we could possibly explain this to our children. We’re still looking for the answers. Please join the conversation.

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