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Photography as Activism
An Historical Overview

Instructor: Michelle Bogre
7:30 – 9:00 pm Eastern via Zoom
Eight Wednesdays beginning March 27

Course fee: $475
Scholarship available: Click here for more information

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Option to pay 25% deposit now with balance due one week before course starts.   


Library of Congress
Strikers from Ladies Tailors union on picket line during the "Uprising of the 20,000," garment workers strike, New York City. 1910. Library of Congress

Class Description

Photographic activism has emerged as a dominant narrative today as fairness and equity are being violated to degrees unimaginable in a supposedly evolved 21st century world. Activists see the world in political terms. They are driven by the desire to change an inequity, underscored by the belief that societal changes can be made towards a perceived greater good. This class will present a global overview of the theory, history, and philosophy of activist photography from the late 1800s to modern day. The class will explore this history thematically, allowing us to see how the underlying politics impacts the photographic approach to similar subjects. The class will be structured through lectures, discussions and photographic analysis.  


Michelle Bogre

Michelle BogreMichelle Bogre, the former Chair of the Photography Department at Parsons School of Design in New York, currently holds the title of Professor Emerita title from Parsons after a 25-year career teaching almost every type of photography class and a special class she developed on copyright law for artists and designers. She is also a copyright lawyer, documentary photographer and author of four books: Photography As Activism: Images for Social Change, Photography 4.0: A Teaching Guide for the 21st Century, Documentary Photography Reconsidered: History, Theory and Practice, and her most recent, The Routledge Companion to Copyright and Creativity in the 21st Century. She regularly lectures and writes  about copyright and photography. Her photographs and/or writings have been published in books, including the Time-Life Annual Photography series, The Family of Women, Beauty Bound, The Design Dictionary (Birkhauser Press, 2008) and photographer Trey Ratcliffe’s monograph, Light Falls like Bits. She is currently trying to finish a long term documentary project on family farms, published on Instagram as @thefarmstories, and a revision of Photography As Activism.

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