Acclaimed documentary photographers Andrew Lichtenstein and Cedric Nunn to speak

Post by IU Newsroom intern Tori Lawhorn:

Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein

Sioux riders enter Mankato, Minn., on the 150th anniversary of the hanging of more than 35 warriors Dec. 26, 1862. America’s largest public execution ended a rebellion by the Dakota, who were starving after promised provisions never arrived. Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein.

Indiana University’s new Center for Documentary Research and Practice, an entity within The Media School, will present the lecture “Landscape | Memory | Trauma” on Sept. 24 as its first public program.

Two contemporary photographers, Cedric Nunn from South Africa and Andrew Lichtenstein from Brooklyn, N.Y., will present their work together from 4 to 6 p.m. in Room 1120 of the School of Education.

Photo by Cedric Nunn

This young soccer player is a descendant of warrior chiefs who led the 100-year Xhosa resistance against Afrikaner and British settlers in South Africa. Photo by Cedric Nunn.

Both photographers explore the visual intersection of history and memory on landscapes of war, genocide, slavery and colonial dispossession.

The inaugural lecture is part of a Center for Documentary Research and Practice series designed to appeal to diverse audiences, “from those interested in documentary as art, to those focused on how documentary articulates history, represents other cultures, communicates scientific ideas and aims to promote social justice,” said its director Joshua Malitsky, an associate professor in The Media School.

In addition to their joint lecture, each photographer will present an individual seminar on his own work. All presentations are free and open to the public.

Andrew Lichtenstein

Lichtenstein is a documentary photographer, journalist and teacher who works on “long-term stories of social concern,” according to his website. Over the last decade he has concentrated on photographing in the United States.

He will conduct a seminar from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 24 at the College Arts and Humanities Institute at 1125 E. Atwater Ave.

Andrew Lichtenstein

Photographer Andrew Lichtenstein

As a photographer and journalist, he has published work on a variety of subjects in newspapers, magazines, websites and books. His photographs have been exhibited around the world, including shows in the United Arab Emirates, China, Italy, France and Germany. Facing Change, a photography collective, will soon publish a portfolio of his work.

His project “American Memory” documents neglected historical sites in the United States that evoke and disclose the destruction of indigenous peoples and the violence of white supremacy.

For two years, he traveled around the country to photograph places such as Galveston, Texas, and Chivington, Colo.

In Galveston, the Emancipation Proclamation is read aloud each year on June 19 to mark the date slaves were finally told they were free, more than two years after the document was issued.

And in Chivington, Cheyenne youth gather each Thanksgiving to embark on a 180-mile run that commemorates an 1863 massacre.

“I’ve always believed that the first step towards healing a deep wound is acknowledgement,” Lichtenstein said.

Cedric Nunn

Nunn, who is best known for his photographs taken during Apartheid in South Africa, aims to instigate social change and highlight lesser-seen aspects of society with his photography.

He will conduct a seminar from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the Center for Integrative Photographic Studies in Room 020 of the Fine Arts Building.

Cedric Nunn

Photographer Cedric Nunn

Nunn will talk about his newest work, “Unsettled: 100 Years War of Resistance by Xhosa Against Boer and British.” In the Eastern Cape in South Africa he documents the terrain where colonial settlers and the Xhosa people fought a series of wars that resulted in the subjugation of the Xhosa.

“This essay looks at the land, which was occupied, desired, defended, lost and won,” Nunn said. “In it we see both the uses and states it is to be found in today, both by the victors and the vanquished. We are able to imagine the heroism and the misery it inflicted on its actors as they either defended or attacked. We see, too, how little of this memory is commemorated or honored.

“We see the smug conquerors, and the conquered. We see the continuing collaborations, which have always been necessary to maintain the status quo. We see the beauty, which stirred the souls of the inhabitants and the lust of the invaders,” he said.

The Center for Documentary Research and Practice

The new center serves as a multidisciplinary unit bringing together scholars and artists from across the university who will work on an array of nonfiction media projects.

It is designed both to support faculty and graduate students who make documentaries as part of their research agendas and to serve as a research hub for those doing historical, theoretical and critical research on nonfiction film and video.

The inaugural lecture series is sponsored by the IU College of Arts and Sciences, the African Studies Program, the American Studies Program, the Department of Geography and the Center for Research on Race, Ethnicity and Society.

For more information on the photographers’ lecture or seminars, contact assistant director Barbara Truesdell, barbara (at)

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