AN UNDERSTANDING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
While we understand the challenging financial situation photographers across the world are experiencing as a result of the coronavirus, this pales in comparison to the unrelenting inequities that people of color have faced for centuries. As photographers, it is important to consider the ethics of capitalizing on telling stories that are not our own. Let us not forget both the immediate and historic context driving this moment and examine how best to amplify and center black voices.
There are many ways non-Black photographers can show up that center the Black experience. This is a time for us to listen and do the work to dismantle our own biases. When we are uncomfortable, we must ask ourselves why. That discomfort isn’t a bad thing – it means we are growing.
- Listen to and support Black leadership
- Attend protests with signs
- Hand out water and snacks to those marching at protests
- While protesting, safely place ourselves between Black protestors and the police, which has proven to de-escalate police brutality tactics
- Talk to non-Black friends and relatives about race and help educate one another and share resources for continuing education around racial justice
- Make recurring donations to antiracist advocacy organizations like Black Lives Matter, Black Visions Collective, NAACP Legal Defense Fund
COMMUNITY COLLECTIONS OF BLACK PHOTOGRAPHERS
In response to our members and the larger photographic community requesting this information, here are links to organizations that have compiled lists of photographers of color.
- Hire Black Photographers (compiled by ASMP LA board members with contribution from Women Photograph and several active social media compilations)
- Black Photographers Covering Protests 2020
- Diversify Photo
- Authority Collective Databases
- Women Photographers of Color database
- MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora
RESOURCES FOR ANTIRACISM WORK
The following are starting points to read as we continue to educate ourselves in antiracism:
- Resources on Anti-Racism Work for Photographers, by Authority Collective
- Anti-Racism Resources for White People, by activist Sarah Sophie Flicker
- Decolonizing Documentary Photography, Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies
- “Reading for Racial Justice” on Manifold @uminnpress
PROTESTING SAFELY + ETHICALLY
If you plan to attend a protest, please read and consider the links below and also observe the following safety guidelines specific to protesting during COVID-19:
- Read the Authority Collective’s guidelines on photographing these protests ethically.
- The NPPA compiled links that may be helpful for pratical resources on the ground during COVID-19.
- NPPA Code of Ethics.
- NAACP provided a list for cities nationwide of legal aid for protestors.
- Wear a mask. My mask protects you, your mask protects me.
- Maintain physical distancing to the best of your ability.
- Get tested. Get a COVID-19 test approximately 5 days after – earlier risks false negatives. COVID testing is FREE in Los Angeles County. You must schedule an appointment to be tested.
- Bring hand sanitizer or wash your hands after touching surfaces, if necessary.
- These are peaceful protests. Follow instructions from event organizers regarding places to protest, when to move, and how to communicate. BLM organizers requested that allies do not riot, loot, violently instigate law enforcement, or otherwise act in ways that might escalate protests, thus endangering Black lives. If you are not Black, please remember why you are protesting: you are there to support the Black community and protect them from harm from law enforcement.