"GOOD TROUBLE" Exhibit extended through September 30

September 4, 2023 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography


"Good Trouble" is an exhibition of photographs that register the power of individuals to inspire movements and illustrates the power of protest from a deeply human perspective. In this exhibition, we are reminded of the power of photographs to propel action and inspire change.  The exhibition has been extended through September 30, 2023.

Protest is an invaluable way to speak truth to power. Throughout history, protests have been the driving force behind some of the most powerful social movements, exposing injustice and abuse, demanding accountability and inspiring people to keep hoping for a better future. The right to protest encompasses various rights and freedoms, including the freedom of assembly, the freedom of association, and the freedom of expression. Unfortunately, these precious rights are under attack and must be protected from those who are afraid of change and want to keep us divided.

During the course of the exhibition, several major news items have affirmed the importance of protest and standing up against injustice.

On May 8, Photojournalist Stephanie Keith was arrested while documenting a candlelight vigil in New York City for Jordan Neely, a homeless man who was choked to death on the subway. On July 7, Keith joined Gallery photographer Ryan Vizzions, who met while documenting the Standing Rock protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline, discussed their experiences documenting protest movements, recent efforts to suppress protest, and the increase in the misuse of force by police at protests.

Watch the Gallery conversation on YouTube here.

Last spring, Tennessee Republicans inadvertently turned the "Tennessee Three" — Democratic Representatives Justin J. Pearson, Gloria Johnson, and Justin Jones — into beloved national political figures by voting to expel them for supporting gun reform demands. At the end of August, Lawmakers voted 70-20 to discipline Jones, effectively preventing him from speaking during the special session. Republicans ordered state troopers to clear the galleries. The decision forced the removal not only of the protesters but also of the parents of students who had survived a deadly school shooting and were keeping a quiet and emotional watch over the proceedings. Rep. Jason Powell, D-Nashville, said "We have arrived in a very scary and sad place in the state of Tennessee. Instead of being used to enforce the public safety, they are being used to suppress democracy."

In July, New York City agreed to pay $13 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit brought on behalf of roughly 1,300 people who were arrested or beaten by police during racial injustice demonstrations that swept through the city during the summer of 2020. In August, Denver approved a $4.7 million settlement for more than 300 protesters who were detained for violating an emergency curfew during demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd in 2020, and later accused the police of using excessive force.

In August, the office of The Marion County Record in Iowa, and home of the newspaper's owner, were raided by Police in an unprecedented attack on the press. Following an international backlash, the County attorney cited 'insufficient evidence' for the search and seizure.

"When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something. You must be bold, brave, and courageous and find a way…to get in the way". – John Lewis

View the exhibition here.

Tags: Civil Rights demonstrations freedom of speech freedom of the press John Lewis police protest