Eric Sung's photography Project, Documenting Place as Witness, is part of a larger interdisciplinary project which focuses on stories of isolation, healing, and solidarity in Providence during the pandemic. The project weaves photographic images, stories, and dialogue grounded in the themes of Commemoration and Legacy. These works draw upon the Arts of Community Renewal, an interdisciplinary project led by Eric Sung, along with his colleagues Tuba Agartan and Nicholas Longo, which integrate team taught courses on art, public health, and community engagement with photography and stories of local artists and community leaders on their experiences with and responses to the pandemic. The project is designed to present and discuss how the role of photographers, arts, artists, and stories gathered from the community in a core area of public health-response to the pandemic for community renewal and healing.
This interdisciplinary art project aimed to create commons for community renewal and healing includes photography exhibition, dialogue process, and panel discussion. The first phase of this work was exhibited at the newly renovated community exhibition venue, Providence Public Library (PPL) as part of PVD Fest 2021. This participatory photography project will continue to expand in other locations including Providence and other communities in New England. The photographs made by Eric Sung was shared with the community and included in the permanent archives, along with corresponding quotes from our interviews in a location in Providence. The exhibition location was discussed and finalized with community leaders and college students. The project aims to curate a final exhibition and digital repository for this interdisciplinary work.
The project design puts arts at the center of the research question and identifies the role of arts, artists, and stories gathered from the community in a core area of public health- response to infectious disease outbreaks.
The project continues with ongoing efforts to document the experiences of the pandemic (including the stages of recovery) through classes at the college, along with analysis of the interviews conducted and then addition of new photography works and arts and interviews as part of our commitment to research and document the experience of artists and community members during all stages of the pandemic.