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Joining The Movement: Photography and Civil Rights History

During the 2002-2003 academic year, LLA students collaborated with teachers from the organization Facing History and Ourselves to explore issues of personal identity, community, and story-telling. The Facing History curriculum taught students to create ‘human sculptures’ — physical positions with their bodies — in order to recreate historical moments and share personal responses.

Drawing from Facing History’s human sculpture exercise, US History students completed Joining The Movement, a series of artworks that culminated an interdisciplinary unit on the Civil Rights Movement. To complete the project, students selected historical photographs, and created a human sculpture to express their physical or emotional response to the scene. Their human sculptures were photographed and transformed into a transparent color silhouette, which the students superimposed on the historical photo, bringing together past and present, and inserting themselves into history.

A selection of these artworks were shown at the “Chosing to Participate” exhibition at the San Francisco Main Library in 2005, and were recognized with an Certificate of Excellence from Facing History and Ourselves.

PROJECT DESIGNERS: Craig Miller, Justin Warren
COLLABORATORS: Facing History and Ourselves
TOOLS: Historical photos, digital cameras, printer, photographic gels, craft knives, spray adhesive