Southbound Exhibit Includes Several Don't-Miss Events

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Sheila Pree Bright

#ReclaimMLKDay, Black Lives Matter Disrupts M.L.K. Jr. Day Parades Across the Country, 2015 From the #1960Now series, Atlanta, Georgia


Southbound, touting 56 photographers, 220 photographs in the exhibition, 550 photographs in the whole project, opens on Friday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m. If you haven’t read part 1 of this series on Southbound, please click here.

There are several factors that go into selecting photographs for an exhibit of this magnitude. One key factor is that the photographs have to be available, but it is more than that. 

“We wanted to make sure that we had a representation of Urban South. That is a part of the New South. There are Atlanta skylines in car mirrors and other things. But, we also wanted to make sure that we represented the world and agrarian cultures that are here because that is a very big part of the American south. So we also looked at stereotypes,” Sloan said.

But, at a point, the stereotypes become redundant.

“How many images do we have of downtrodden farmers? And how many do we want? Do we have corporate executives sitting at the golf course? We don’t have any of those because photographers tend not to be attracted to that. We do have black lives matter rallies and we have all kinds of other things, zebra racing in New Orleans. We do have a pretty broad net,” Sloan said.

And then, of course, the question of place becomes important. For Southbound, the co-curators did more than simply include photographs. Southbound, like the South, is an experience, with a full calendar of experiences and events.

“Thinking about place has really been the fundamental guiding principle in our endeavors,” Long said.

This led the co-curators to develop a map to help people experience the South.

“The photographs of course first and foremost, but we also have a really wonderful mapping environment that will allow people to plug in and think about the ways in which we have arrived at a series of maps that are about the south,” Long said.

Dr. Rick Bunch at the University of North Carolina Greensboro created the maps for Southbound, which will be used to underline demographics, cultures, and historical terms.

In addition to the mapping feature, Southbound has approximately 20 events associated with the exhibition.

“One crucially important thing with Southbound is that it is happening on an academic campus, and so we have really ambitious and comprehensive programming going on,” Long said.

In January, Sheila Pree Bright will speak on the public memory in the New South. Bright is an Atlanta-based photographer recognized with multiple awards. Her sustained focus on the African American experience in the South includes projects dealing with the apparent banal, suburban living to the most charged Black Lives Matter protests.

Another not-to-be-missed event is Michael Arad, the architect most notable for his design of the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City. He is designing the forthcoming Mother Emanuel AME Church Memorial in Charleston and will speak about memorials and public memory.

While there are so many great events between October and March, a final one to note is “An Evening with Nikky Finney.” Finney is a professor of creative writing and southern letters at the University of South Carolina and the 2011 winner of the National Book Award for Poetry. She wrote four new poems inspired by photographs in this exhibit, and she will read them, along with some of her other work, on Tuesday, February 12.

Click here to see the full line-up of events with in-depth descriptions.

Don’t Miss!

October 19 – Opening Reception – 6:30-8 p.m. The Halsey Institute Galleries

October 20 – Brunch Reception – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. City Gallery at Waterfront Park. 34 Prioleau Street.

October 20 – Artist Talks – 1 p.m. City Gallery at Waterfront Park. 34 Prioleau Street.

October 27 – Poetry Reading by USC Students – City Gallery at Waterfront Park. 34 Prioleau Street.

November 1 – “Watershed” Lecture by Southbound Photographer Jeff Rich – 6 p.m. Simons Center for the Arts, Room 309

November 10 – Sounds of the South Music Symposium – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Simons Center for the Arts, Recital Hall

November 14 – Sit a Spell: Southbound Conversation Series – 12 – 2 p.m. Halsey Institute Galleries

November 15 – Film Screening: Southern Rites, followed by a Q&A with Director Gillian Laub – 7:30 p.m. Simons Center for the Arts, Recital Hall

December 5 – Sit a Spell: Southbound Conversation Series – 12-2 p.m. City Gallery at Waterfront Park. 34 Prioleau Street

January 11, 2019 – Shelia Pree Bright: Keynote Speaker for the Public Memory in the New South Symposium – 7 p.m. College of Charleston Sottile Theater

January 12 – Symposium: Public Memory in the New South – 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. College of Charleston School of Sciences and Math Building, Auditorium

January 12 – Michael Arad: Keynote Speaker for the Public Memory in the New South Symposium – 7 p.m. College of Charleston School of Sciences and Math Building, Auditorium

January 16 – Sit a Spell: Southbound Conversation Series – 12-2 p.m. City Gallery at Waterfront Park. 34 Prioleau Street

January 19 – Family Day! – 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Halsey Institute Galleries

January 29 – The Index of Southerness: A Lecture on the Southbound GIS Mapping Project by Dr. Rick Bunch – 6 p.m. Simons Center for the Arts, Room 309

February 6 – Sit a Spell: Southbound Conversation Series – 12-2 p.m. Halsey Institute Galleries

February 12 – An Evening with Nikky Finney – 6 p.m. City Gallery at Waterfront Park. 34 Prioleau Street

February 21 –Curator-Led Tour: Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South. – 6 p.m. City Gallery at Waterfront Park. 34 Prioleau Street

February 23 – The Photographer and Uncommon Access – 2 p.m. Simons Center for the Arts, Room 309

February 28 – Curator-Led Tour: Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South – 6 p.m. Halsey Institute Galleries