Posted: 2 weeks ago

I. Grishashvili Tbilisi History Museum Hosts Stephen Shames's Exhibition "Black Panther Party"

I. Grishashvili Tbilisi History Museum, Karvasla is hosting Stephen Shames's exhibition "Black Panther Party".
Born in 1947 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Stephen Shames was educated at Berkeley University (CA). At the age of 19, during an anti-Vietnam War protest in San Francisco, he met the founders of the Black Panthers movement. He began to photograph the movement, in all its aspects and was its main chronicler for 7 years. As a photojournalist, Stephen Shames sees photography as a weapon of liberation, as a means of fighting for justice and social equity. During his long career, he has documented the lives of the poorest, the most neglected populations, and young people trying to live and grow up in the harshest, most hostile environments. In his own words, his approach is to give voice to those who are denied it. In particular, he addresses child poverty and racial or prison matters to draw attention to social issues in the United States, just as photographers Lewis Hine, Jacob Riis, and Marion Post Wolcott did before him. Stephen Shames has received numerous awards for his work and his prints are in the largest public collections. In 2015, the Nicéphore Niépce Museum offered a retrospective exhibition of his work allowing this great photographer to be better known to the European public.
Working to promote social change, Shames documented unprecedented access to the legendary Black Panther Party from 1967 to 1973 while still a student at the University of California at Berkley. The Party, revered by some and reviled by others, burst onto the scene with a revolutionary agenda for social change and African-American empowerment. Shames captured not only the public face of the Black Panther Party - street demonstrations, protests, and militant posturing - but also unscripted behind-the-scenes moments, such as private meetings at Party headquarters, scenes from Panther schools, the distribution of free lunches, Huey P. Newton at home and Bobby Seale at work on his campaign for mayor in Oakland. What strikes us today in this work on the Black Panthers is its burning topicality, in particular when we think of the social crisis that the USA is going through and the wave of protests raised by the murder of George Floyd whose trial has just begun.
This exhibition was realized in cooperation and with the kind support of Galerie Esther Woerderhoff.
The event will take place in I. Grishashvili Tbilisi History Museum on May 7th, at 6 PM.