We're excited to introduce the two photographers who will share their photos of Oregon’s social justice movement at next spring’s Justice Within Reach: Bette Lee and Nathan Q. Moon.
When we called Bette Lee to tell her she had been selected as one of two photographers for the 2011 show, the first thing Bette said was, “This is the show I’ve been waiting for.”
As an activist and photographer for 30 years, Bette has seen it all, and has thousands of images of people taking action for social justice. She has documented peace work, labor struggles, LGBT rights, immigrants rights, people of color standing up against racism (and more!)
“When I took my first photography class in the early 1980s in the Bay Area, I knew at once that I had found my creative medium,” Bette told us. “The heart and soul of my work articulate the passion and commitment to social justice issues that I share with the many people I have met, struggled alongside, and/or photographed for almost 30 years.”
You’ve probably seen her photos, which have been featured on numerous groups' websites such as these photos for the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign.
Nathan Q. Moon is in love with both photography and Hip-Hop, and it's a potent combination.
Born in South Korea, Nathan was adopted by American parents when he was an infant. As a young person, he bottled the anger from his struggles with issues of identity and self-worth. He acted out and wound up in conflict with the law, then in jail. Taking ownership for his actions and position, he began the process of change. He got his first lesson in photography while in a transition program back to the community.
Still a young man, he continued the process of getting his life together. He connected with Portland’s Hip-Hop scene and discovered that photographing this movement deepened his connection to the community--it helped him to establish his identity and to find value through self-expression. Now he volunteers with nonprofits and works with youth, teaching photography and the elements of true Hip-Hop: peace, unity, love, and having fun.
“For this show, I’ll choose images that tell a story, images that hold deeper meaning than one might assume when taken at face value,” explains Nathan. “I hope my images will engage viewers and get them interested in the story behind the image.”
See more of Nathan’s photography at: http://moonrok.carbonmade.com/
Bette and Nathan have different histories and come from different generations, but they both believe that their art can help us find our common humanity to create peace and justice.
Meet them both and see their work at Justice Within Reach, May 7, 2011. Event tickets go on sale in early 2011.
Pictured: Nathan and Bette with Justice Within Reach Committee members. From left to right: Mariotta Gary-Smith, Heather Pruess, Nathan Q. Moon, Bette Lee, Inger McDowell, Bobby Fouther. (Carole Zoom is the person on the computer screen.)