OpticVoices: Roots (Shulamit & Shlomo)

Emmai Alaquiva

OpticVoices: Roots (Shulamit & Shlomo)

This piece from OpticVoices: Roots features late Holocaust survivor Shulamit Bastacky z”l.

The “Roots” installment in the OpticVoices series was created in partnership with the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh. “Roots” highlights the faces that make up our communities, showing that for us to move forward, we must understand the past.  The exhibit encourages viewers to find beauty in the everyday lives of people.

The OpticVoices series does not provide captioning on individual pieces. Instead, it charges the viewer with creating their own. As photographer Emmai Alaquiva states on the OpticVoices site:

“Once the audience views the image; they are charged with captioning the photos…fostering conversations that lead to social change; the Optic is provided and you provide the Voice.”

OpticVoices presents different mediums for people to engage in conversation on topics ranging from Black Lives Matter, oppression, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia to the support and success of young black males. Through this exhibit, participants will be able to ask the hard questions: what does it mean to be heard?

Grant Oliphant, former president of the Heinz Endowments, commented: “His images raise questions that should make us uncomfortable, angry, uplifted, empathetic and brave. At a time of resurgent racism, when a movement rooted in a simple demand for respect and dignity has been greeted with so much anger and scorn, Emmai’s images, like the protests they chronicle, bear witness to the spirit of hope and defiance that is our only path forward as a people.”

OpticVoices is an engaging and interactive photography exhibit that aims to provide the public with a more authentic narrative of all people through the lens of captivating and thought-provoking imagery.

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