Picture the City
The Spring 2022 New New York Academy Photography Competition
“A way of certifying experience, taking photographs is also a way of refusing…”
- Susan Sontag, On Photography, p.10
In the Spring of 2022 the departments of Politics and Human Rights and Art and Art History launched a collaborative photography competition open to all majors. The competition was part of the Spring’s “New New York Academy,” a college-wide, semester-long series of speakers and hands-on workshops focused on the theories and methods of creating a just, inclusive, and life-affirming city.
It is the great pleasure of the competition jurors to announce the first prize winner and honorary awardees of the competition.
Charlotte Black (PHR 2025) is the winner of this year’s photo contest. The jury appreciated how Black’s photo imagines a post-pandemic New York whose iconography is not Manhattan but an elsewhere represented in her photo by the train station that serves this country’s most diverse neighborhood and epicenter of the Covid-19 epidemic in New York, Jackson Heights. This new New York that Black imagines offers the viewer a city that will not break with lessons learned in its pandemic past. And poignantly, some would say defiantly, a new New York that Black forcefully defines as a global city where the street belongs to women donning hijabs, hijabs that index a dynamism emphasized by a composition that speaks of a world to be announced; a tilted horizon, the undoing of linear narratives represented in the repetitive use of circles where the end and the beginning are always provisional, and a canvass that is out of focus on the left, another signifier of the dynamic, a future to be, if you read from left to right, or, alternately, the mark of a traumatic past that escapes language, if you read from the right to the left.
We look forward to the display of their printed work on campus in the Fall of 2022. Please join us in congratulating the winners and in sharing our appreciation to all participants among the wonderful 63 entries.
Check out the winners and honorable mentions here!