‘Outside the Lorraine’ photo exhibit: Seeing us as us

David Goodson | 4/8/2021, midnight
Some technological advances touch every aspect of industry, every corner of the globe on every day of the year since ...
Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. Image by 2dogspoopin0 from Pixabay

Some technological advances touch every aspect of industry, every corner of the globe on every day of the year since their advent. Depending on the source, the years between 1822-1829 were the formative years of one the most important documentary tools history has seen. Can we imagine a world without pictures? An image can either supplement the written word or stand alone and convey a story just as potent. Any chance we get to highlight the world of photography and the work photographers put in is an opportunity granted.

On Saturday, April 10, the National Civil Rights Museum opens the fine art photography exhibition, “Outside the Lorraine: A Photographic Journey to a Sacred Place” featuring the work of David Katzenstein. The yearlong exhibition highlights the museum as a mecca for peacemakers, a place of memory and connection during the museum’s 30th anniversary.

The collection of more than 90 photos in “Outside the Lorraine” helps visitors identify with social issues by using fine art photography to connect to the historic place, Dr. King, movement makers and one another. Viewers are invited to see the sparkle that lies within each print that shimmers, vibrates and introduces people to a richer experience with fine art photography by making each piece relatable.

“‘Outside the Lorraine’ offers the rare opportunity for our visitors to see themselves reflected in the artwork of one of our exhibitions,” said Dr. Noelle Trent, the museum’s director of interpretation, collections and education. “The exhibition is a ‘thank you’ to our visitors who have lovingly supported the museum over the last 30 years and emphasizes the beautiful array of humanity that energizes the courtyard and museum. As the world slowly reopens, we hope this exhibition reminds our audience how much they mean to us.”

Another major endeavor was revealed when Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, partnered with Black Archives, providing the multimedia platform that will spotlight the Black experience by providing unique access to its expansive archive.

Black Archives founder Renata Cherlise will cull through the trove of more than 11 million digitized and analog photographs and videos housed in Getty Images’ digital and physical archives that document centuries of American history.

In the spirit of Black Archives’ mission to give voice to under-told stories, Cherlise will curate rarely seen historical imagery of everyday Black life, providing insight to those seeking to understand the legacies that preceded their own. These curated collections will be available to view and license on gettyimages.com.

“The mission for Black Archives is to give voice to those stories untold while providing authentic representation and inspiration to transformative growth for Black people everywhere,” said Cherlise. “We are excited to partner with Getty Images as we continue to give full dimension to the lived experiences of Black people around the world.”

Founded by Cherlise in 2015, Black Archives goes beyond the norm, examining the nuances of Black life: alive and ever-vibrant from both the everyday and iconic. She has deep experience creating multimedia stories that give archival photographs new life, including projects with Sony Music and the National Basketball Association.

The Getty Images archive is the largest privately held archive with access to over 130 million images dating back to the beginning of photography. From historical images created in the early 1800s to more contemporary 1990s imagery, the Getty Images archive houses a wealth of socially significant, historical photos, footage and prints.

“For too long, the visual narrative of the Black experience has been lost or distorted and to move forward, we must shine a light on previously under-told stories,” said Cassandra Illidge, global head of content partnerships at Getty Images. “Accurate and representative visual storytelling is key to our mission at Getty Images and we are thrilled to partner with Black Archives to enable new stories to be told with iconic archival content.”

In addition to this partnership, Getty Images recently announced partnerships with the NAACP and FKA twigs in an effort to empower Black content creators to tell their story, and elevate the work of photographers, videographers and illustrators who are helping expand the visual narrative of the Black experience. Getty Images is committed to building a foundation of diversity, equity and inclusion that gives all content creators the tools to tell their stories.

Loving the opportunities to see us as us. Over and out. Holla next week. Until then, enjoy the nightlife.