Anni Liu: Voices

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Voices: Love Trumps Hate

 

Photography and Text by Anni Liu, Copyright 2016

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VOICES

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Unlike any other elections in U.S history, November 8th, 2016, was a day never to be forgotten. The night when Donald Trump won his victory against Hillary Clinton, the streets of Philadelphia became awfully silent, as if the only signs of life were the winds blowing across the cement floors. It was the calm before the storm. In the days following the election, people of Philadelphia rose up together to rally against the new president-elect. Probably the most historic U.S city, Philadelphia became a place of outcry, anger, and protest. On November 13th, a rally was held at city hall, Philadelphia. People gathered on a big open area next to city hall with signs that made their voices heard.

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By their looks, they really just seem to be ordinary people whom you might walk by on the streets, a friend or a neighbor maybe. With the signs of all different shapes and sizes, it is as if they helped bring out the hidden voices of the crowd: the true voices of ordinary American who believed in something. After a while, the rally started chanting together, following a leader with a loud microphone. A man with tuba started playing, and the people started marching down the streets of Philadelphia with onlookers standing and observing from the sides of the streets. This year’s election was probably one of the most divisive elections in history. No matter which party won, half of the country would be in great sorrow and anger. How did we get here? It is hard not to ponder how the country became so divided. Why was Trump’s victory so surprising? Or why did every pre-election newspaper predicted Hillary’s win against Trump? Maybe it is time to push away the assumptions and pause and listen to the true voices of the American people.

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About The Author: Anni Liu is a Junior majoring in the Biological Basis of Behavior, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To access additional articles by Anni Liu, go here:https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/anni-liu-fresh-new-home/

 

 

 

 

Brian Schoenauer: Shaun King – Race Relations in America

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Shaun King

 

Photography and Text by Brian Schoenauer, Copyright 2016

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SHAUN KING: RACE RELATIONS IN AMERICA

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For many, especially those on campus here at Penn, the results of this election were shocking. Students were left wondering how we got to this point. Hilary Clinton, one of the most qualified candidates in recent memory, had lost to a real estate mogul and reality television star. Donald Trump, who had appeared to countlessly sabotage his own campaign with vulgar and hateful rhetoric, was the president-elect. But on November 17th, writer and activist Shaun King offered up his own reality check to the students here at Penn. King offered a sobering analysis of what he believed to be the impetus behind the divisiveness in this country.

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Shaun King, at age 37, is the senior justice writer for the New York Daily News. In this role, he is responsible for reporting and commenting on social justice, police brutality and race relations. King, who was born to a black father and raised by his white mother, has been no stranger to racially motivated crime and hate. While in high school, King was beaten so severely by fellow white students that he had to miss almost two years of high school due to the injuries. This racially motivated attack undoubtedly changed King. To this day, one can see the scar on his left cheek – a constant reminder of the racism he faced as a high school student.

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The crowd at the Penn Museum was filled with people of all races and age. King began his address with lighthearted jokes. However, his tone soon turned more serious as his presentation began. King asked his audience to consider a paradox. He showed the audience a graph of the rise of technology – a graph that soared upwards at an exponential rate. He argued that people confuse this graph as a representation of the quality of our humanity. King reminded the audience about the horrors of American history.

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He showed the audience the scarred back of a slave. He even asked a young boy in attendance, whose view was obstructed behind the podium, to move seats so he could see this image. He reminded the audience that police have killed 102 African Americans in the past year. He showed the audience videos of civil rights riots and police brutality from the 1960s that was uncomfortably similar to American society today. The audience, at these moments and throughout the night, audibly voiced their reactions. Many could be heard simply reacting “Mmmm” – as if they suddenly realized the weight of reality.

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The reality that race relations in this country, our humanity, are not where they thought it was – and that the results of this election should be a reminder of this. Yes there are issues of class. Yes there are economic issues. There is a whole contingency of rural middle class Americans who have felt left behind and forgotten by Washington elite. But it is more than that. Shaun King’s presentation offered a crucial and weighty reflection on the condition of American society. He showed the audience that race relations and equality are not where they should be – and that as a nation we have a lot of work to do.

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About The Author: Brian Schoenaeur is a senior enrolled in the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017. Brian is also a running back on the Penn football team. To read additional articles by Brian Schoenaeur, go herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/brian-schoenauer-look-inside-eastern-state-penitentiary/

 

Kaleb Germinaro: Election Day-Who Would’ve Thought?

Photography and Text by Kaleb Germinaro, Copyright 2017

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ELECTION DAY: WHO WOULDV’E THOUGHT?

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The past year has been trying on many people because of the election. At first it seemed like a joke to some people and unreal at first. The growing anguish and uncertainty about our country soon led to a type of division amongst supports. Both sides seemed to be unable to support the other. The division the election created was one that we haven’t seen in a long time. The divisions of two true sides, one completely distraught after the election and the other one feeling victorious as if they had won a battle. November 8th yielded an unexpected outcome where Donald Trump became president. Many people thought that his campaign was hurtful, even entertaining at times because of the lack of filter he didn’t seem to possess. Many feelings were going around before and after the election and that is what I attempted to capture in a series of photos that I took while on campus at the University of Pennsylvania, which a large majority of the student body voted for Hillary.

The first pictures I shot on this assignment were coincidentally of Joe Biden on the morning of Election Day. He was on campus going to have lunch with one of his grandchildren and stopped on campus to say hello. He humbly stood in front of one of a building on campus for over an hour taking the time to take as many pictures as possibly. He seemed hopeful and cheery. This was all before the result of the election came out where Trump had won. The after effects that ensued were despair, disbelief as well as concern for safety amongst many people on campus as well as around the country.  The latter end of the photos that I captured tell a story of the reactions that people had to the election and the demonstrations that were displayed to make a change.  No one would’ve  been able to predict what happened in the 2016 election

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About The Author: Kaleb Germinaro is a senior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017. To read additional articles by Kaleb, go herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/kaleb-germinaro-emotion/

 

Transformation: New Americans in Philadelphia

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Photography by Harvey Finle, Copyright 2015.

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Posted on January 21, 2015, by Roberta Fallon (TheArtBlog.org)

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A Photographic Exhibition by Harvey Finkle at the main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia Until 2/15/15 in Conjunction with “One Book, One Phildelphia.

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An historic, exciting transformation is occurring in this unique neighborhood, South Philadelphia, the original destiny for immigrants arriving in this city during the last decades of the 19th century and early 20th century. This diminishing population of descendents of European immigrants from over a century ago are being replaced today by immigrants from a variety of other countries, but bringing the same energy, values and hopes brought by their predecessors a century ago. As a Jewish community that some once estimated at a quarter million evaporated and the Italian community slowly shrinks, they are being replaced by Indochinese from Cambodian, Vietnam and Laos; by Indonesians of both Christian and Muslim faiths; by Mexicans and most recently by refugees from Nepal and Burma.

 

South Philadelphia is a microcosm of what is occurring in old neighborhoods of many large cities throughout the country. New immigrants and refugees are revitalizing urban neighborhoods with their energy and commitment that emulate what prior immigrants brought. Homes, shops and restaurants, once vacant and deteriorating are being regenerated; schools are being refilled; even religious facilities are being restored or constructed to reflect the varied belief systems of these new arrivals. Simply put, they work hard, want to live in safety, raise their families, educate their children and worship without fear.

 

This is a unique historic moment. The issues of immigration are once more at the forefront of a national discussion. Immigration will continue to be a natural occurrence throughout a globalizing world, imposing the need for major political and policy decisions. Social movements have already blossomed. An organized, informed grass roots effort can influence and enable beneficial decisions. This work can offer some small contribution to the already existing local and national discussion.

 

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