Last night, Station North’s Motor House debuted a new exhibit featuring Kianna Wilson’s photographs of Baltimore-area activists as a way to mark the fifth anniversary of the Baltimore Uprising earlier this year. The exhibit, which was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was one of 10 community-based projects that OSI supported to mark the anniversary.
“In this exhibit, activists are photographed in their happiest places in Baltimore, the places where they feel the most safe, joyful, and comfortable,” the exhibit description reads in part. “Each portrait is paired with a narrative from the activist, as recorded by an oral historian that discusses how they have continued to struggle for freedom and equality. The purpose of this exhibit is to celebrate self-care, self-love, love of community, love of the city, and the revolutionary act of being happy in spite of oppression.”
Among the activists featured are OSI Director Danielle Torain and poet, organizer, and 2015 OSI Community Fellow Lady Brion. See the full list and sign up to view the exhibit on Wednesday evenings through November 18th here. Motor House is also planning to create a book that compiles the exhibit’s photos with more extensive activist narratives.
Several of the other community-based projects around the Uprising that OSI supported earlier this year have already taken place:
- In April, Organizing Black co-hosted a powerful virtual program, “From Emmett Till to Freddie Gray: The Impact of Murders and Lynching on Radicalizing African American Youth” that included an inter-generational panel of civil rights workers from the 1960s and young activists involved in the Movement for Black Lives, a performance by Baltimore rapper Son of Nun, and info on ways everyday people can plug into the social justice work happening all across the country. It has been viewed more than 3,000 times.
- Also in April, the Real News‘ produced a short film to mark the anniversary, “Five Years After Freddie Gray’s Death: The Resistance Makes Change, the Government Doesn’t,” followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Lawrence Brown, Rev. Dr. Heber Brown and others.
- In May, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and the Jewish Museum of Maryland co-presented a powerful online exhibit of photos from the Uprising by J.M. Giordano, curated by Devin Allen, called “Gray in Black and White” and and an online discussion.
- Earlier this month, 901 Arts hosted local musical artist Abdu Ali for the first of four artist workshops with students to share their work and lead youth in an activity to reflect on the Baltimore Uprising and its underlying causes.
We look forward to being able to share information about other Uprising anniversary projects in the coming months.