Public Talks & Workshops at Photoville this month!

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I’ve been a bit quiet on the Visionaries front because I’ve been busy producing all the public talks and panels for this year’s Photoville and it’s been a wonderful experience allowing me to unite my international affairs and contemporary photography interests. For those of you who have never been, Photoville is New York’s largest annual photo event and has many components, from the outdoor shipping containers housing photo exhibitions, to evening events to the Pavilion where talks and workshops will be held (that’s me).  It’s all free and located outdoors near Pier 6 off Brooklyn Bridge Park and is a pretty stunning place to spend an afternoon/evening.
The full list of over 15 talks and workshops is here (scroll down to Sept 12) but some of the panels I’m extra excited about are:

Hope to see you there!



Visionaries presents Hyphenated: first and second generation American photographers in conversation at Photoville Saturday, 9/27, 2-3pm

hyphenated invite2Visionaries is excited to return to Photoville this year to present Hyphenated, featuring first and second generation American photographers who explore themes of identity, memory, home and belonging through their work. As new Americans, these artists often live in multiple worlds. With their unique insider-outsider access and perspective, they represent and probe their own past and present — bridging the gap between geographically separated but historically connected communities. Rather than having their stories told to them, these artists imagine the spaces in between, narrating the “Hyphenated” experience in the first person.

Hyphenated: first and second generation American photographers in conversation

Date & Time: Saturday September 27th 2-3pm                                                      Location: Photoville, Uplands of Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park (click here for directions)     Featuring: Delphine Fawundu, Pete Pin, Keisha Scarville, moderated by Visionaries founder and curator, Jennifer Samuel

Free and open to the public! Link to our Facebook event, register on Eventbrite

Adama Delphine Fawundu is a Sierra Leonean-American fine artist and educator born in Brooklyn, NY to a mother from Equatorial Guinea and a father from Sierra Leone, West Africa. Her latest series Deconstructing SHE examines the theory of social constructivism in the development of identity. What impact do post-Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and postcolonial societies have on the development of social constructs such as “race,” “gender,” and “class?” How valid are these constructs as reflected in personal identity? Through this performance art series of still and silent monologues, Fawundu transforms herself into various personalities as she delves into this investigation of self and society.

Pete Pin is a Brooklyn-based Cambodian-American photographer. Born in the Khao-I-Dang refugee camp on the border of Cambodia and Thailand following the Cambodian Killing Fields and raised in California as a first generation refugee, he uses his work to explore the legacy of the Killing Fields in the Cambodian-American diaspora. For the past four years, he has been photographing in Cambodian communities across the U.S., with the aim of using photography to create generational dialogue through community engagement and collaborative storytelling. Pin is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the International Center of Photography.

Keisha Scarville self identifies as a first generation Guyanese-American-Brooklynite. She photographs her family and common everyday objects in order to investigate issues surrounding identity and memory. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Studio Museum of Harlem, Rush Arts Gallery, Bric Arts Media House, and The Brooklyn Museum of Art. In addition, her work has appeared in Transition Magazine, Nueva Luz, Photo District, ARC Magazine, Time, Vibe, Nylon, and The New York Times where her work has also received critical review. Currently, Keisha is a faculty member at the International Center of Photography.

Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel is a Sri Lankan-American filmmaker and photographer whose projects connect personal stories to larger themes of migration, identity and movement as activism. Her company, Fine Grain Films, recently completed Claiming Our Voice, a film about South Asian domestic workers in New York. She has worked on several documentary films for PBS Frontline, Independent Lens, POV and BBC. In addition to creating her own work, she presents artists through her nomadic series, Visionaries. She is the Associate Director of Anastasia Photo, a gallery specializing in documentary photography and photojournalism. Samuel studied anthropology and photography at New York University and received her Master of International Affairs from Columbia University with a focus on media and economic development.

Photoville is a Brooklyn-based photo destination, a pop-up village of freight containers transformed into temporary exhibition spaces, which first took place in the summer of 2012. Photoville featured a feisty mix of exhibitions, lectures, hands-on workshops, night-time projections, a photo dog-run, a camera-flower greenhouse, and a summer beer-garden with food trucks that created a photography destination like no other. All exhibitions, lectures and workshops are FREE and open to the public.

Please join us and spread the word!

Visionaries presents Gerard H. Gaskin at Photoville September 21st 2:30 – 3:30pm

Please join us for our upcoming event at Photoville featuring Gerard H. Gaskin.             Date & Time: Saturday September 21st 2:30 – 3:30pm                                                      Location: Photoville, Uplands of Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park (click here for directions)     Featuring: Gerard H. Gaskin’s Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene         Discussion with Edgar Rivera Colon PhD and Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel                             Link to our Facebook event

Gerard H. Gaskin, the 2012 winner of the Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography, will present and discuss work from his forthcoming book, Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene (pre-order via Amazon now). This body of work, eighteen years in the making, is full of radiant color and black-and-white photographs which take us inside the culture of house balls, underground events where gay and transgender men and women, mostly African American and Latino, come together to see and be seen. In this exuberant world of artistry and self-fashioning, people often marginalized for being who they are can flaunt and celebrate their most vibrant, spectacular selves. From the quiet backstage to the shimmering energies of the runway to the electricity of the crowd, Gaskin’s photographs take us to the ball.

The lecture will be followed by a discussion between Gerard, Edgar Rivera Colon PhD and Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel, founder & curator of Visionaries.  Gerard will contextualize his photographs within the ballroom scene and talk about why he was first drawn to photograph the intimate world of ball culture, the challenges of making beautiful work that is also representative of the history of a movement and the process of editing eighteen years of work into a first book.

For those of you who don’t know already, Photoville is a new Brooklyn-based photo destination, a pop-up village of freight containers transformed into temporary exhibition spaces, which first took place in the summer of 2012. Photoville featured a feisty mix of exhibitions, lectures, hands-on workshops, night-time projections, a photo dog-run, a camera-flower greenhouse, and a summer beer-garden with food trucks that created a photography destination like no other. All exhibitions, lectures and workshops are FREE and open to the public.

Please join us and spread the word!

October Visionaries News

Sending out a big thank to all of you who came out to our September Visionaries event “Summer Streets at Dekalb Market”.  Those of you who came know it was a really great evening full of storytelling through imagery and words.

Visionaries projection, DeKalb Market. Photo by Katja Heinemann


Click here to see more from Sion's presentation

Click here to see more of Radcliffe's presentation

DJ tres dos started off the evening with some great tunes while we waited for the sun to go down.  Then we checked out photographs of those who participated in the summer photo assignment “Documenting your Block”. Sion Fullana  started the discussion off by sharing how he came to be at the forefront of the mobile photography movement – how the camera served as a tool to connect with subjects.  Through his beautiful iphoneography (Instagram: @sionfullana), he showed how how he was able to compose many a love letter to New York City by capturing those who live beside each other, in their own different worlds.  Radcliffe “I’m not gonna say much” Roye then took the stage to fill the space with his stories – how he finds an image or how an image finds him – how all cameras (his iphone included) have been a way for him to get to share a moment with his subject and through his images, share their essence. (Instagram @ruddyroye)

Visionaries Summer Photo Assignment slideshow (photo by Viviana Peretti)

So if you weren’t there, you missed a real treat to have Sion and Radcliffe present together. I’ve included links to their edited presentations as well as the the work of those who participated in the summer assignment but please check out everyone’s sites below.

Enjoy! | |

Summer Streets at Dekalb Market Sept. 17th 6:30-9:30pm

Please join us for our upcoming Visionaries event at Dekalb Market where we’ll have a group slideshow featuring images from your summer photography assignment – your block – followed by presentations by Sion Fullana and Radcliffe Roye.

If you missed it before, you can see details of the photo assignment here. If you would like to submit photographs for the group slideshow, please select 10-20 photos (or less if you don’t feel you have 10 strong, unique images), resize them to 1024 pixels on the long side at 240dpi (or the highest resolution your camera takes) and save them as jpegs. Rename each file as: firstname_lastname_01.jpg, firstname_lastname_02.jpg, etc in the sequence you would like them shown. Then email me the images with “Your Name – Submission” in the subject line to Please send your images to me by September 9th so I can assemble your names and images into a slideshow for the event. Email me if you have questions.

Again, here are the details for the upcoming event. It will take place outdoors so we can enjoy the warm weather as long as it lasts. Here is the link to the Facebook event so please spread the word.  Hope you can make it!

Date: Monday September 17th
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Location: Dekalb Market 138 Willoughby Street (@Flatbush Ave) Trains: B, Q, R to Dekalb Ave or A, C, F & R to Jay St. Metrotech
Featuring: You!
Sion Fullana
Radcliffe Roye

Visionaries launches Queens Museum’s Passport Fridays series

Thanks so much to all who came out to Flushing last night to join us for such a beautiful evening!  Visionaries co-presented the launch of the Queens Museum’s Passport Fridays series with an evening of music, dance and film from Haiti.  The museum’s whole summer series is devoted to events in conjunction with the city-wide exhibit Caribbean Crossroads of the World. Special thanks to Prerana Reddy of the Queens Museum and  Ase Dance Theatre CollectiveDjarara and When the Drum is Beating for bringing it!  Here are a few photos but you can see more on our facebook page.  All photographs by Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Prerana Reddy and Jennifer Samuel introducing Ase Dance Theatre Collective

Ase Dance Theatre Collective Performing

Djarara leading a rara

A beautiful night for a screening of When the Drum is Beating

Friday, July 6th, 2012 – Passport Fridays at Queens Museum of The Arts: Haiti

I’m excited to announce that the next Visionaries event will open this summer’s Queens Museum of Art’s Target Passport Fridays series.  As part of the city-wide exhibit Caribbean Crossroads of the World, each Friday this summer will feature a different Caribbean country.  Visionaries will be kicking off this great series on Friday July 6th with an evening devoted to dance, music and film from Haiti featuring Ase Dance Theatre CollectiveDJA-Rara and the film, When the Drum is Beating. Events start at 6:30pm.  See below for more details.

Target Passport Fridays: Haiti Friday, July 6th, 6:30 P.M. – 10 P.M., 2012 Queens Museum of Art, NYC Bldg, Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, NY 11369 DIRECTIONS  Free and Open to the public Co-presenting with Visionaries, a nomadic series bringing together artists and organizations with a common mission. The series is founded by Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel. Stay connected @NYCVisionaries.

DANCE: ASE Dance Theatre Collective Under the artistic directions of its founder, Adia Tamar Whitaker, a dancer/choreographer and vocalist, this Brooklyn based dance theater collective is dedicated to preserving the past, present, and future of the African presence in the “New World.” They will present contemporary choreography inspired by Haitian  folklore and rhythms.


MUSIC: DJA-Rara takes an ancient music from the hills of Haiti and reinvents  it on the streets of Brooklyn. Part-carnival, part-vodou ceremony, and grassroots protest, “Rara” is one of the most breathtaking and contested forms of music in the Americas. Rara originally served as a voice of the slaves in their revolt against the French, and as the voice of those struggling against ongoing dictatorships in Haiti.

FILM: When The Drum Is Beating (Whitney Dow, USA/Haiti, 84min, 2011, English & Kreyol with English ST) documents the Haitian band, Septentrional. For 60 years this 20 piece band has been making beautiful music – a fusion of Cuban big band and Haitian vodou beats – that turns out thousands of fans. Their extraordinary story is interwoven with the history of Haiti and how it went from being the first free black republic with a huge wealth of natural resources to a shattered country that cannot support its citizens.

For more info visit: or call 718-592-9700

Join the conversation |@QueensMuseumEsp|#PassportFridays

Target Passport Fridays 2012 at the Queens Museum of Art is made possible by Target. Target Passport Fridays 2012 is presented in partnership with Rooftop Films and NYC & Company. Additional support provided by The Kresge Foundation, the New York CityDepartment of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Astoria Federal Savings. WNYC is a media partner of the Queens Museum of Art.  

Summer 2012 Photography Assignment: Your Block

I’d like to revive the summer photography assignment, something we did when I was co-organizing the Brooklyn Photo Salon.  This summer’s assignment: YOUR BLOCK.  I chose this assignment because it’s close by (no excuses!) and if you’re like me, it’s something you’ve been meaning to focus on for awhile – who and what we see everyday are often easiest to overlook.  Plus every good photo project needs to push you just a little outside of your comfort zone 😉

Everyone is free to participate in this assignment – from amateur to professional photographers.  I chose photography not only because it is my first love but because it’s very accessible to everyone these days.  You can use your iPhone, your DSLR or your large format film camera – but use it well.  By the end of the summer you should think about  selecting 10-20 images that make up a cohesive photo essay.  We’ll gather in the fall to look at everyone’s images.  If you are posting photos online throughout the summer, tag us (@nycvisionaries) in them so we can follow you along in your journey.

Email me at if you have questions.

Happy shooting!


Visionaries and African Services present Harlem Nights 2

Thanks to all that came out a few weeks ago.  Our second collaboration between Visionaries and African Services Committee featured was part of our “Works in Progress” series.  We featured excerpts from two films in the works.








June Cross and Lisa Desai’s presented Public Health, Private Pain, a documentary following the lives of rural African-American women infected with HIV in the American South.

Lisa Desai and Jennifer Samuel in discussion








Mike Brown presented an excerpt from his first feature, 25 to Life, about how one man’s AIDS diagnosis can affect an entire family and community.







Thanks to Valerie Caesar, DJ El Pete for lending their skills and Petra Richterova and Katja Heinemann for their photographs!  Check out our FB page for more pics!


Harlem Nights featuring Joshua Bee Alafia and Barron Claiborne

Our first Visionaries event on January 18, 2012 was a great success!

We partnered with African Services Committee, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and self-sufficiency of the African community in New York City and beyond.  They have a beautiful space uptown in Harlem.

We gathered a lovely crowd to show documentary film and photography from Joshua Bee Alafia and Barron Claiborne‘s collaboration ”Fashioning Peace in Kenya”.



Harlem Nights Crowd

You can check out more photos by Russell Frederick on our Visionaries facebook page.





Barron Claiborne and Joshua Bee Alafia









The organizers - Marissa Jackson, Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel & Chitra Aiyar