Jamel Shabazz - REPRESENT: Photographs from 1980-2012
Central Library, Grand Lobby
Original photographs documenting various aspects of how people from diverse cultural backgrounds represent themselves.
Since picking up my first camera nearly thirty-five years ago, I was intrigued with how people within my community represented themselves. As time passed, I embarked on a
self-imposed assignment to document the world around me. I have been very fortunate to meet many wonderful and diverse people from around the globe, and each experience has enriched me in ways that far surpass what I learned in history books.
Just recently, I realized that my life’s mission over these past three decades has been to contribute to the preservation of world history and culture for future generations to see and learn from. “REPRESENT” is just one of many chapters of this endeavor, and I hope that this work will have its place in the chronicles of history alongside other books of similar subject matter.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has stood before my lens and had faith in me in documenting their legacy. I have made it my life’s mission to make sure that their history is preserved for generations to see.
Thank you to all my family, friends and supporters who encouraged me along the path. A special thank you goes out to Kiki Bauer, Lacy Austin, Lucky Singh and Professor Cali Usher for their contributions in making “REPRESENT” a reality, and to Professor Deborah Willis, the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts and Brooklyn Public Library, for helping to shape my career and this exhibition.
Jamel Shabazz was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of fifteen, Shabazz picked up his first camera and started to document his peers. He includes photographers Leonard Freed, James Van Der Zee, and Gordon Parks as sources of inspiration, and has built a massive and diverse body of work. Shabazz has produced five monographs of his work, and has had solo exhibitions around the world, including Ethiopia, Canada, Japan, and various cities in the U.S. He has also worked as a teaching artist with the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, the Bronx Museum-based Teen Council and the International Center of Photography, among others.
Photo credit © Koe Rodriguez
Please view Jamel Shabazz's online exhibition, Prospect Park - An Oasis in Brooklyn, on the Brooklyn Collection's website. Also, please visit Jamel Shabazz's exhibition, Reflections, in the Brooklyn Collection, on the 2nd floor at Central Library.