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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop

The Getty Center / Los Angeles / Art

“You need the craft to tell a story,” says the photographer and Kamoinge Workshop member C. Daniel Dawson. “What story are you telling?” The first major exhibition on the Kamoinge Workshop tells the story of Black photographers who formed a groundbreaking collective in Harlem in 1963, a time when Black art was excluded by the establishment. The word kamoinge, taken from Kenya’s Kikuyu language and meaning “a group acting together,” characterizes the photographers’ collaborative and communal approach to artistry. Their distinctive personal styles merged into a shared mission: to tell the complex, multifaceted story of African-American life and culture in the mid-20th century. The exhibit features the work of 14 Kamoinge Workshop members—including Louis Draper, Ray Francis, and Herman Howard—and focuses on the group’s formative decades in the 1960s and 1970s. —Nyla Gilstrap

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