Jamel Shabazz’ Streetlife at Museum aan het Vrijthof in Maastricht.

March 10, 2020
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Streetlife can be seen from March 21st to August 30th, 2020 at Museum aan het Vrijtof.
Due to the corona crisis, the exhibition has been postponed, and will now take place June 1st to September 27th, 2020.

Jamel Shabazz is one of New York’s most innovative photographers. For the past forty years, he has documented the cultural vibrancy of the city’s black and brown communities. He has described his mission as ‘giving a voice to the often invisible and voiceless’. At the exhibition fifty of his photographs will be shown: Jamel Shabazz: ‘As a socially conscious photographer, I strive to create images that show reality, provoke thought, and at the same time contribute to a visual record of time and history.’ Jamel Shabazz is featured in The Photograph, the new film by director Sherman De Jesus. The Photograph is inspired by a photo of the director’s grandfather taken by Harlem Renaissance photographer James VanderZee. The Photograph was shot entirely in Harlem, N.Y.C.

When Jamel Shabazz began photographing the streets of New York in 1980 the city was emerging from a challenging period. Its economy has been faltering, crime was on the rise, and many neighborhoods were deteriorating. Where some people saw danger and decay, Shabazz focused on the vibrant street life and saw it as an opportunity to positively represent the culture of black and Latin communities. Jamel Shabazz carries on the tradition of photographers James VanderZee, Gordon Parks, and Leonard Freed, who illuminated the vitality and pride of their subjects, no matter the hardships or prejudice they faced. For Shabazz this is central to his artistic viewpoint.

Jamel Shabazz received the Gordon Parks Foundation Award in 2018.