Join Us for a Conversation with Matt Black and Barbara Ehrenreich
Susan Meiselas will welcome renowned author Barbara Ehrenreich and photographer Matt Black to speak about creating work that challenges public engagement on issues surrounding poverty. This conversation will be followed by a presentation by Nina Berman and her students at Columbia’s School of Journalism working on a project about economic disparity in upper Manhattan.
Monday, December 7
7:00 - 8:30pm
The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY
Inequality does not simply exist in “pockets” as it did 50 years ago: today’s poor live in a chain of linked towns and cities throughout our country. Matt Black will take us through this chain visually by showing work from his powerful ongoing project, The Geography of Poverty.
Matt began this work in his native rural California, where the people working the land and picking its harvest are the very people that go hungry. This past summer, Matt embarked on a trip to explore modern poverty across America, traveling continuously through 70 areas where at least 20% of the population is living below the poverty level. Through these images, we see not only what America looks like to the 45 million people living in poverty, but also that poverty is inextricable from issues of migration, land use, industry, and the environment.
We brought a curation of The Geography of Poverty into public space as part of the current exhibition, The Value of Food: Sustaining a Green Planet, which is on view until April 3, 2016 at the Cathedral of St John the Divine.
Photographer and associate professor at Columbia, Nina Berman, and her journalism students will follow the conversation with a short presentation of their group project inspired by the installation. They have spent the past month looking locally at income disparity and rapid gentrification between 110th and 145th Streets, river to river.
“The Geography of Poverty” was supported in part by Magnum Foundation’s Emergency Fund, a grant enabling documentary photographers to investigate social justice stories and produce in-depth narratives, and by the EHRP, a journalism non-profit changing the national conversation around both poverty and economic insecurity. It was also generously supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and MSNBC. You can see an extended presentation of the work here on MSNBC produced by Amy Pereira and with comprehensive articles by Trymaine Lee. Matt Black was nominated to Magnum Photos this year.