The Kamoinge Workshop: A Conversation with Anthony Barboza and Herb Robinson
Thursday, 5 August
6.30 pm BST | 7.30 pm CET | 1.30 pm ET
In 1963 a group of Black photographers living in New York City came together in a spirit of friendship and support to form the Kamoinge Workshop. They chose the name Kamoinge, which means a group of people acting together in the Gikuyu language of the Kikuyu people of Kenya, to reflect the essential ideal of the collective as well as their global perspective. The artists had different backgrounds and experience with photography, but they shared a common purpose: to pursue photography as an art form and to make photographs of and for the Black community as they saw and experienced them, in contrast to the images presented in art, media and popular culture at that time.
Kamoinge artist Louis Draper explained their perspective when he said:
"We speak of our lives as only we can."
The impact of the Kamoinge Workshop was far-reaching. As a group they provided support for each other's work by sharing technical and professional expertise, organizing exhibitions and publishing portfolios of the group's work. Individual members became successful professional photographers, involved in publishing, advertising, film and television; as well as teachers and mentors, working in New York City and international locations. Kamoinge members developed their own personal visions, while also working to preserve and honour the legacy of their Black elders in photography.
In this event, early Kamoinge Workshop members Anthony Barboza and Herb Robinson talk about the collective with Carrie Springer, former Whitney Museum of American Art curator of the Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop presentation. The photographers will discuss the early days of the Kamoinge Workshop, the impact it had on their fine art and commercial careers, and how the collective has influenced their current photographic work.§