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Live Botkin Lectures Return to the Library with Martha Cooper September 7

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In this photo by Sally Levin, Martha Cooper poses with her camera in front of a wall decorated with graffiti art. The image includes the words: Library of Congress American Folklife Center, Benjamin Botkin 2022 folklife lecture series, Martha Cooper, Graffiti, Folklore and Community Life: Photographing Contemporary Culture
Martha Cooper. Photo by Sally Levin.

The American Folklife Center is pleased to announce the return of live events in our Benjamin Botkin Folklife Lecture Series!  The first onsite Botkin lecture in over two years will be Wednesday, September 7, at 4:00 pm in the Whittall Pavilion, and will feature the renowned documentary photographer Martha Cooper.

Graffiti, Folklore and Community Life: Photographing Contemporary Culture
Featuring Martha Cooper

Wednesday, September 7, 2022
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm EDT
Thomas Jefferson Building – Whittall Pavilion (LJG45E)
10 1st Street SE, Washington, DC 20540

Martha Cooper has spent decades documenting contemporary culture throughout the world, and has worked closely with folklorists throughout her career. She is especially well-known for her urban photographs, including hip hop culture, children’s play, mural art, ethnic communities, community celebrations, and innumerable other topics. Her book with Henry Chalfant on New York City graffiti, entitled Subway Art, has been called “the graffiti bible.”

Martha Cooper has a long relationship with the American Folklife Center.  She was a fieldworker on AFC’s Working in Paterson project in the 1990s, and almost 3000 of her photos are online as part of the project’s collection.

In this presentation, Cooper will share some of her favorite photographs and discuss her projects, approaches, and reflections on photography and documentation.

As with all our live events, we ask that you request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]

For further information and updates, visit this link.

We have already announced our next very exciting live Botkin lecture, featuring the Kitchen Sisters and their special guest Frances McDormand, on September 15.  Find out more at this link!

Comments (4)

  1. Hello everyone

    I hope you well be fine.

    comment for folkilife.

  2. This will surely be a great talk! As a fellow-traveler in the realm of folklife documentation, I regret not being able to attend in person that day. I hope that this presentation will turn up as a cybercast before too long!

    • Yes, we hope to have it online soon, Carl!

  3. Looking forward to hearing about the folk-life.

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