by Shubhankar Arun
Photography courtesy of Jourdon Christopher
Humans have always shown a great inclination towards bringing various forms of art together, whether it be visual, conceptual or even performing. Jourdan Christopher tried to do something similar in his exhibition Strangers in Boston Photography Exhibit & Open Mic, as he brought together photography and poetry to create an exhibition like no other.
At first glance, the exhibition could have easily been mistaken for a party. A photography exhibition is the last place you would expect to be finished viewing the photographs within 10 minutes of arriving. The photographs were put up in disarray, with no real order and one might have even felt inclined to walk out.
“Surprisingly, the more time I spent there, the more I found myself enjoying it,” said Riya Haria (COM ’20).
Jourdan Christopher’s photographs require you to spend some time with them. There’s a story in each of his photographs, you just need to find it. He doesn’t capture humans in his photos; he captures humanity in its truest form. The photographs displayed were surprisingly small in size, in order for the finer details to stand out. There are two photographs in particular that stood out. The first was a picture of a father and infant walking on a T platform; the second one was a picture of an office building and the sky, taken through its reflection on a puddle. All the photos were in black and white.
“This exhibition was unlike anything I've ever been to,” said Haria. “It was beautifully chaotic.”
As the night progressed, several African American poets and singers performed their verses on themes like freedom, feminism, black power and creativity. Each of the themes they touched upon correlated, in some way or another, to Christopher’s photos.
The poets also stressed the importance of freedom and becoming comfortable with yourself. One of the poets had everyone in the gallery sway to her music to further the overarching theme of self-love at the exhibit and in Christopher’s photos.
There was this energy about the place that is difficult to put into words. The photography, music and poetry all just came together to create an overwhelming sense of black power, expression and freedom.
“It was exhilarating. Being among people who are true to their nature, doing what they do best without being conscious created an electric freedom in the air,” said Aboli Goghari (SAR ’20).