Through These Realities challenges the narratives of mass media that invalidate the experiences of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian & Pacific Islander, and People of Color (POC) through the interactions of poetry and photography.
Poetry stands in opposition to the way by which information is consumed online. Popular media overwhelms, commands excessive interaction (e.g., social media use), and can negatively affect cognitive function and emotional well-being. In contrast, poetry can uplift, calls upon readers to reflect, promotes attention to unseen connections, and new ways of thinking.
Photojournalism, too, offers insight into moments that most cannot or will not see. Here, in conjunction with poetry, photography is transformed from a tool of external documentation into one of internal representation.
POC artists will use poetry and photography to validate their realities, reveal the discrepancies between the dominant culture, and solidify the normality of POC living in the everyday.
The prompt accompanying the call-for-poetry will be based on the following James Baldwin quote referring to the media industry: "The industry is compelled, given the way it is built, to present to the American people a self-perpetuating fantasy of American life. It considers that its job is to entertain the American people. Their concept of entertainment is difficult to distinguish from the use of narcotics, and to watch the TV screen for any length of time is to learn some really frightening things about the American sense of reality.”
Open Call for Artist: Somerville-based photographers of color will create a series of images inspired by new work from Somerville-based poets of color. Local artists encouraged to apply! https://www.throughreality.com/submission-guidelines