Racial Justice Through the Lens of Science, Poetry, and Photography

Racial bias is well documented in photography—consider, for example, photographers’ inability to capture and expose darker skin tones with film. Within the emulsion of film, the chemicals that recapitulate light, is inherent social bias. There’s a distinct prejudice within the algorithms of our digital imaging technologies.

Three Poems on Photography

My name is Susan Jarvis Bryant and I love photography and poetry. I had immense fun combining my two passions to create these three poems. The Texas Coastal Plains, with the breathtaking beauty of wildlife and scenery it provides, has inspired me to pick up a camera and start capturing the images. I hope my poems convey that joy and I hope my joy is contagious.

The Photographer’s Night Before Christmas

T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the house.
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that new photo gear soon would be there.

Finding Freedom: Portraits and Poems of Former Inmates at a Halfway House

"Finding Freedom" is a new art book collaborative project between Brandon Crockett, a community volunteer and advertising copywriter, and the renowned photographer Sandro Miller -- yes, the same one that recreated iconic photos with John Malkovich. The book features poetry and portraits from residents at a Chicago halfway house -- individuals who have recently left prison and are attempting to reintegrate with society.

Light Painting Poetry into Photos

Math major and photo enthusiast Kris Hollingsworth created this beautiful photograph in which he light-painted an entire poem! It took patience and perseverance: practicing the technique took 15 hours, while the actual light painting took another two hours. The image is actually 9 separate photographs in one -- eight lines of poetry and the self-portrait of Hollingsworth.

Multimedia Poetry

Here's a novel idea: using an audiovisual slideshow as a medium for poetry. Journalists at the Knight Digital Media Center created a project for the Oakland School for the Arts, featuring a student's poem, The Eternal Sea. Check it out here.