Aperture Magazine
#223, Summer 2016

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The Magazine of Photography and Ideas

Vision & Justice
Guest Editor: Sarah Lewis

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As the United States navigates a political moment defined by the close of the Obama era and the rise of #BlackLivesMatter activism, Aperture magazine releases “Vision & Justice,” a special issue guest edited by Sarah Lewis, the distinguished author and art historian, addressing the role of photography in the African American experience.

Inspired by Frederick Douglass’s 1864 speech “Pictures and Progress,” a call to consider the transformative power of pictures in affecting change in the United States, the immense range of images and writing in “Vision & Justice” underscores photography’s unique corrective power and ability to shape a new vision of the country.

Table of Contents


Guest Editor’s Note
by Sarah Lewis

Collectors: The Jazz Musicians
Contributions by Wynton
Marsalis, Ingrid Monson,
Alicia Hall Moran, Jason Moran,
and Somi

by Hank Willis Thomas

Bridget R. Cooks on Harlem
on My Mind
, 1968


Frederick Douglass’s
Camera Obscura
by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The Black Photographers
by Carla Williams

Black Lives, Silver Screen
Ava DuVernay and
Bradford Young in Conversation

Love Visual: A Conversation
with Haile Gerima
by Sarah Lewis and Dagmawi

Picturing Obama
by Maurice Berger

Carrie Mae Weems:
Around the Kitchen Table
Reflections by Dawoud Bey,
Jennifer Blessing,
Katori Hall, Robin Kelsey,
and Salamishah Tillet

Web Exclusives

Ming Smith and the Kamoinge Workshop
LeRonn P. Brooks

She Walked in Beauty
Susan Fales-Hill

Jamel Shabazz in Conversation with Michaela Angela Davis

dream hampton in Conversation with Geena Rocero

Nicole R. Fleetwood on Prison Portraits

Renée Mussai and Victor Peterson II on Black Chronicles and Rock Against Racism

Deana Lawson in Conversation with Nikki A. Greene

Vision, Justice, and Cinema: A Roundtable with Franklin Leonard, Catherine Gund, and Shola Lynch

Sheila Pree-Bright in Conversation with Naima J. Keith

Emily Raboteau on Murals and Social Justice

Brian Wallis on James Baldwin and Richard Alvedon’s Norhing Personal


Awol Erizku
Introduction by Steven Nelson

Toyin Ojih Odutola
Introduction by Claudia Rankine

Lorna Simpson
Introduction by Margo Jefferson

Annie Leibovitz
Introduction by Nell Painter

Deborah Willis
Introduction by Cheryl Finley

Sally Mann
Introduction by John Stauffer

Jamel Shabazz
Introduction by Khalil Gibran

Devin Allen
Introduction by Aaron Bryant

Leslie Hewitt
Introduction by Rujeko Hockley

Lyle Ashton Harris
Introduction by Vince Aletti

Radcliffe Roye
Introduction by Garnette Cadogan

LaToya Ruby Frazier
Introduction by Teju Cole

Dawoud Bey
Introduction by Leigh Raiford

Deana Lawson
Introduction by Thomas J. Lax
Object Lessons
Thelma Golden on
James VanDerZee,
Christmas Morning, 1933

On newsstands everywhere May 24, 2016.

With thanks to Bernard Lumpkin and Carmine Boccuzzi for generously supporting the “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture magazine.

Aperture’s “Vision & Justice” issue features two covers. Left: Awol Erizku, Untitled (Forces of Nature #1), 2014 © Condé Nast, 2014; right: Richard Avedon, Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader, with his father, Martin Luther King, Baptist minister, and his son, Martin Luther King III, Atlanta, Georgia, March 22, 1963 © The Richard Avedon Foundation

Back Issues

Aperture 231

Aperture 231

The summer issue of Aperture magazine considers the influence of photography on leading filmmakers, and the role of cinema in the work of artists and photographers.
Aperture 230

Aperture 230

Most prisons and jails across the United States do not allow prisoners to have access to cameras. At a moment when 2.2 million people are incarcerated in the US, 3.8 million people are on probation, and 870,000 former prisoners are on parole, how can images tell the story of mass incarceration when the imprisoned don’t have control over their own representation? Organized with the scholar Nicole R. Fleetwood, an expert on art’s relation to incarceration, the Spring issue of Aperture magazine addresses the unique role photography plays in creating a visual record of a national crisis.
Aperture 229

Aperture 229

The Winter edition of Aperture magazine is a landmark issue dedicated to the representation of transgender lives, communities, and histories in photography. Guest edited by Zackary Drucker, the artist, activist, and producer of the acclaimed television series Transparent, “Future Gender” considers how trans and gender-nonconforming individuals have used photography to imagine new expressions of social and personal identity, from the nineteenth century to today.
Aperture 228

Aperture 228

Aperture’s Fall 2017 issue investigates the role of style, dress, and beauty in the formation of individual identity.

Aperture Magazine
#223, Summer 2016

Sign up for Aperture's weekly newsletter: