Citizen Journalism on Exhibit in the South Bronx

A patron views footage on a screen at the New Documents exhibit at the Bronx Documentary Center. (Photo By Samali Bikangaga via Mott Haven Herald)

A patron views footage on a screen at the New Documents exhibit at the Bronx Documentary Center. (Photo By Samali Bikangaga via Mott Haven Herald)

A new exhibit at the Bronx Documentary Center highlights, according to the center’s website, “the ways in which eyewitnesses have created and shared evidence to expose injustice and abuses of power, setting the agenda for social discourse.”

Photos and videos make up the “New Documents” exhibit, which presents the media on some 30 screens shaped like mobile phones and tablets “mounted inside rectangular spaces carved out of a black wall,” writes Samali Bikangaga for Mott Haven Herald.

Each box shows surveillance footage, dashboard cams and video recordings from around the world, depicting labor abuses, environmental injustice, and excessive use of force by law enforcement.

The clips appear in the form of a timeline that starts in 1903 with photos by Alice Seeley Harris who captured the atrocities committed under King Leopold of Belgium during colonial rule in the Congo. More recent footage includes the killing of Philando Castile in Minnesota in July.

Michael Kamber, the Bronx Documentary Center’s co-director, said he turned down offers from galleries in SoHo and Chelsea to exhibit the project because in Melrose, the location of the center, the issues hits close to home.

“Police killings of people of color are a kind of abstraction for a lot of people,” said Kamber. “It’s very different if you put it on in Soho or Chelsea and people want to be intellectual about it, whereas here you don’t have a distance to it. It’s peoples lives.”

Go to Mott Haven Herald to read more from the co-founders and what an attendee of the exhibit’s opening, who grew up in neighboring Mott Haven, had to say about the show.

“New Documents” runs through Aug. 28.

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