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Smartphone Witness

June/July 2019

High Point Cafe, 602 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119

Opening: Saturday, June 8, 2-4PM

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Artist Statement

What is the role of a parade in creating social change? These photographs, taken at the festive “Power Toward a Just Future” parade on August 2, 2018, in Centre City Philadelphia, invite reflection on this question.  The parade focused on addressing the nexus between climate disruption and racial injustice, and was created by the Carnival de Resistance (carnivalderesistance.com), in partnership with many local social justice and environmental organizations.  It was a glorious day and I am grateful for my iPhone camera, which made it possible to capture these images.

The photographs also explore how we filter the world through our smartphones.  It’s amazing to me that the phones so many of us carry have the capability to capture such detail, with such ease.  I was marching at the front of the parade, assisting the organizers, and became intrigued by all the people, from many different cultural backgrounds, who stopped to observe the parade and take pictures (or perhaps video) with their smartphones.  The parade had inspired a community of witnesses, whose presence was as important as the presence of those within the parade.  By viewing these photographs, each of us becomes a witness as well.  


Gratitude to Keith Yahrling at Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (philaphotoarts.org) and to Sok Chan Pho and Melissa Clark-Pho at the Art of Framing (artofframingweb.com). Inquiries about exhibiting the series of twelve framed photographs in your community center or house of worship can be addressed to Malkah Binah through the website contact page.