“There was a lotta negativity because there was just pictures of Black people. That was one of the critiques, that we just photographed Black people. Said, ‘Yeah. You photograph just white people.’ That was the argument.”
In New York City in 1963, a group of Black photographers came together, naming themselves the Kamoinge Workshop. Translated from the Kikuyu language, kamoinge means a group of people acting together. The artists indeed worked closely together, focusing on reflecting Black life through photographs and increasing Black representation in professional organizations like the American Society of Magazine Photographers (now American Society of Media Photographers). The exhibition Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop showcases members’ work from the 1960s and ’70s.
In this episode, artist Adger Cowans and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) curator Sarah Eckhardt discusses Kamoinge’s history and future as well as the exhibition Working Together. The exhibition is organized by the VFMA and is on view at the Getty Center through October 9, 2022.
For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-black-photographers-represent-their-world/ or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts
To learn more about the exhibition Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop visit https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/kamoinge/index.html