This month, students in the Media & Society course, “Visibility Matters,” premiere their pop-up exhibition, “Some Future, 1969,” at the Solarium Gallery at Houghton House.
Celebrating the audiovisual interpretations students created to engage with the sociocultural legacy of 1969, the show opens on Friday, April 12 with a reception from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
In “Visibility Matters,” taught by Visiting Assistant Professor of Media and Society Lina Žigelytė, students examine how the visibility of previously underrepresented groups across a range of media seems to be transforming the United States. The course analyzes the social contexts that generate visibility of historically neglected groups, including racial and ethnic minorities and LGBTQ people.
“I would hope that the most important aspect of both the course and the exhibit is to invite the HWS community to think about representation in critical terms,” Žigelytė says.
“Some Future, 1969” focuses on three groups — the Black Panther Party, the Indigenous people living within the borders of the U.S., and the LGBTQ+ community — exploring major turning points for each that occurred in 1969: the assassination of Fred Hampton, the deputy chairman of the Illinois Black Panthers, who was killed during a police raid; the 19-month occupation of Alcatraz Island by a group of Indigenous organizers that was ended by the U.S. government; and the Stonewall Riots, the LGBTQ+ community’s response to police raids on New York City venues that welcomed this community.
The title of the show was inspired by a quote from the writer and activist Audre Lorde: “What we must do is commit ourselves to some future that can include each other and to work toward that future with the particular strengths of our individual identities.”
“The choice to look at several moments from 1969 as a starting point for larger conversations about representation made immediate sense because this year marks the 50th anniversary of a number of landmark events,” says Žigelytė.
The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
This event is sponsored by the HWS Center for Teaching and Learning.