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Origin stories are important. They give us a sense of identity, purpose, and history. They help us understand who we are. But origin stories are notoriously incomplete; favoring certain historical details over others. The United States has such a story; a story written by men who celebrated universal rights while subjecting, demeaning and enslaving whole nations and communities of people. That horrific contradiction and its implications have rippled throughout American history.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, a domestic correspondent for The New York Times, has been thinking about that contradiction since high school when she learned of the date 1619; the first recorded date of forcibly enslaved peoples arriving in the colony of Virginia. Hannah-Jones wondered what it meant to be a country that was actually based on slavery? What would it mean for us if we considered 1619 our true origin and not 1776?
And that was the conceit of The 1619 Project; a massive effort by The New York Times Magazine, which was spearheaded and conceived of by Hannah-Jones to detail the history of slavery, it’s lasting effects within our culture, and to celebrate the often-suppressed role of formerly enslaved peoples in making American democracy manifest.
2020 ICP Infinity Awards
Since 1985, the International Center of Photography has recognized outstanding achievements in photography with its prestigious Infinity Awards. The awards ceremony is also ICP’s primary fundraising benefit, with its revenues assisting the center’s various programs.
Harbers Studios commissioned MediaStorm, on behalf of ICP, to create a short film about each of the recipients to screen at the awards ceremony and to display online. The films pay tribute to the contributions of each artist to the craft and field of photography and demonstrate ICP’s commitment to them.
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