Two 2017 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards go to State of the Arts and PCK Media!
The State of the Arts story “Risking Life and Lens: Helen M. Stummer” has been honored in the “Arts & Entertainment” category. Photographer Helen M. Stummer discusses her new memoir, Risking Life and Lens, in our Emmy-winning story. You can read more about her on our blog. Congratulations to producer Susan Wallner and director of photography Joe Conlon!
ICP AT MANA CONTEMPORARY ARTS, JERSEY CITY, (opens November 3, 2017)
NJ HISTORICAL SOCIETY: RISKING LIFE & LENS EXHIBIT (extended to August 31, 2017)
Lobby of the NJ Historical Society Exhibit; photo by: John Bathke
What Is This Website Used For?
To educate — to see below the surface — to think about people who live in a low social economic status–to illustrate lectures, publications, exhibits on photography, art, sociology, history, psychology, health and living conditions, lead poisoning, housing violations and above all survival.
As a socially concerned documentary photographer in the tradition of Dorothea Lange, Lewis Hine, and Jacob Riis, I try to capture images of the dignity, elegance, and suffering of people who are trying to survive on nothing.
Any explanation of what my work is about, what I am doing, or why I am mostly compelled to communicate the struggles of people in despair, is elusive. Each time I think I find an answer and begin to write about the connection within me, the answer changes. As each theory becomes old hat or dry, I begin, again, the search to find a new explanation.
At times I am sure my works are self-portraits; but then I also think that they are protests against stereotypes that picture poor people living like “Queens” of “high on the hog.” At times I see them as exposés of some of the myths of poverty that say being poor is synonymous with being a criminal or undeserving; sometimes they reflect my reaction to those endless comments about bad neighborhoods being equivalent to bad people. Theses reasons shift in priority, but are all basically true. Protest I think, is always at the crux of my work, protest against injustice.
My quest for truth is the journey—the passion—that ignites my energy. It is a continuous process of “not knowing”—to know and then not to know, then letting go and beginning again. Following my heart as a guide, this journey remains the inspiration that enriches my life, making it meaningful and keeping the eternal light of hope alive.
Helen M. Stummer