Emory opens its first museum exhibit showcasing Latino photography – Decaturish

By Hayden Sumlin, contributor 

Atlanta, GA — Community partners, photographers, and Emory staff on Sept. 7 held a reception for the upcoming exhibition, “You Belong Here: Place, People and Purpose in Latinx Photography.”

The event in Ackerman Hall at the Michael C. Carlos Museum celebrated Emory’s first exhibit highlighting the Latino community.

“Young Belong Here” is organized by Aperture and curated by Pilar Tompkins Rivas, chief curator and deputy director of curatorial and collections at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles.

“It’s the first exhibition of its kind at Emory,” said Andi McKenzie, site curator at the Carlos Museum. “But, it is a part of a larger push to expand the collections at the Carlos, so we hope this will be the first of many exhibitions like this.”

As curator of works on paper at the Carlos Museum, McKenzie helped bring Tompkins Rivas’s collection to Emory.

Thanks to Tompkins Rivas and “Aperture” magazine, a nonprofit publisher that supports photography worldwide, the diverse and unique experiences of Latino photographers have been showcased across the United States, before making their way to Emory’s Michael C. Carlos Museum. The exhibit began Sept. 9 and runs through Dec. 3, 2023. The exhibit was on display at Princeton University Art Museum earlier this year.

Yami Rodriguez, an assistant professor of history, worked with Emory student interns over the summer to craft the interactive component of the “You Belong Here” exhibit at the Carlos Museum.

“The idea was, since none of these photographers are actually local, we wanted to find a way to bring in local voices,” Rodriguez said.

This Fall, students in Rodriguez’s history class will produce an essay analyzing one of the pieces in the exhibit.

The student-led, interactive portion of the exhibit allows museum goers the opportunity to respond to four personal questions about their sense of belonging, their identity, and their broader relationship to the world.

Cassandra Olive and Daisy Macias, Emory’s Andrew W. Mellon intern and Daniel Shultz intern respectively, crafted an activity that allows exhibit attendees to respond to the questions by hand or with a Polaroid photograph.

Some of the responses already posted on the wall at the interactive portion of the exhibit highlight the importance of family, home, and time spent in nature. “You Belong Here” chronicles the unique social and intimate experiences of the Latino community from the 1960s to now.

On Sep. 17, Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Carlos Museum will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a family day, hosted by author Raúl the Third.

For more information about the exhibit, click here.

Editor’s note: The Associated Press Style Guide recommends using the word Latino, which is why this word is used throughout this story. The style guide recommends that Latinx — a gender-neutral term preferred by some people — should only be used in quotes.

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