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2024 Annual Conference

St. Louis

March 21-23, 2024

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Presentations on Main Stage 3

Donald Black, Jr. (Lecture) | Ron Tarver (Imagemaker) | Paul Thulin (Imagemaker)

Saturday, March 09 - 11:30AM to 12:30PM
Hope Ballroom

Donald Black Jr., "Keep Your American Dream (You Cannot Have My Eyes)" (Lecture)
This lecture examines the work of centering the humanity of the black body within one's photography practice as an act of resistance. Donald Black, Jr., artist and educator, will engage the audience through images, telling his story of developing a uniquely black gaze. There has been a constant suggestion from the field to be a camera-for-hire; that is, to do the work of perpetuating the myth of whiteness in America. This push catalyzed the need to simultaneously reject this archetype and reclaim the stance of artist--to nurture a black subjectivity that reveals the truth with an unapologetic lens.

Ron Tarver, "An Overdue Conversation with My Father" (Imagemaker)
Tarver's current work involves the appropriation of photographs his father, Richard Tarver, produced in the 1940s and 50s to construct contemporary images that comment on the pervasive legacy of racial strife in this country. The more than 300 photographs and over 1000 black and white negatives he produced of the African American residents in the small Oklahoma town of Fort Gibson represent a time when Jim Crow laws were still in place. While those laws have since been abolished, their legacy lives on. These reimagined images tie together a troublesome past with an equally troublesome present.

Paul Thulin, "Isla de Las Palmas" (Imagemaker)
Thulin's docu-literary photography project, Isla de Las Palmas, addresses the cultural and historical complexities of Puerto Rican identity. Self-identifying as Puerto Rican (mother is Puerto Rican), Thulin shares a fractured sense of self with multiple generations of the Puerto Rican diaspora and native islanders. In this presentation, Thulin will shed light on the untold histories of Western colonialism, capitalist exploitation, Caribbean Catholicism, youth culture, and indigenous heritage politics that play a role in fueling, in essence, a perpetually colonized, psychological, social, and cultural identity crisis for millions of Puerto Ricans.


Donald  Black Jr.
Donald Black Jr.
Paul Thulin
Paul Thulin
Ron Tarver
Ron Tarver

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