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'The Story of Us': putting a human face back to Charlottesville

FILIP TIMOTIJA

FTimotija@dailyprogress.com

Charlottesville photographer Eze Amos, who took photos before, during and after the deadly events on Aug. 12, 2017, said he hopes that Charlottesville will soon be known as a city that was able to move past the painful events.

“Maybe we’ll get them listening,” Amos said. “People will start seeing us again as a nice place to be — a place to come work and raise a kid.”

Amos spoke with Andrea Douglas, the Jefferson School executive director and the community about his photo exhibit “The Story of Us” on Wednesday in Charlottesville’s Central Library of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.

In front of about 50 audience members both in-person and over Zoom, Amos showed and discussed some of the photos installed throughout the Downtown Mall that are a part of the project. The installation consists of 36 photos and are coupled with scannable QR codes that allow the visitors to hear personal accounts of people who were photographed.

Amos’ goal with the project is to show the world that people can live in Charlottesville, and to “put a human face” on a city whose outside perception is sometimes overshadowed by the events of August 2017.

At the same time, Amos hopes that the project will encourage other community members to share their experiences from the events of Aug. 11 and 12.

During the discussion, he also mentioned his previous project “Witnessing Resistance,” which is currently being displayed at the Jefferson School Heritage Center, and spoke about the thematic differences between the two installations.

“The story of those [“Witnessing Resistance”] photos are from the photographer’s perspective,” Amos said. “It is about us resisting the people that came here—it’s about us fighting back.”

Many of Amos’ previous works have turned a lens towards the people of the city. He described an early project in Charlottesville, which included taking photos of people walking on the Downtown Mall. There, he noticed every time he would photograph Black individuals, they were either panhandling or homeless. The finding led him to dive deeper into societal issues.

“It got me into looking at things happening around Charlottesville, which led me to photojournalism,” Amos said.

However, Amos’ love for photography began before Charlottesville. Hailing from Nigeria, it was there where he shot his first roll with a black-and-white camera as he gained the confidence to fully commit to the medium.

“I stumbled upon the art and it was one of those things that I was like, ‘Oh God, this is what I’m looking for,’” he said.

Amos will host another free community event. On Saturday at 11 a.m., Amos will lead an hour-long guided tour of the installation, which departs from the water fountain at 2nd St.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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