‘Just the Facts’ — Illuminating invisible lives at the 2017 LightField photo festival

Just the Facts,” LightField’s second festival of photography and multimedia art, presents lens-based works created by six innovative and distinguished visual artists: Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Brenda Kenneally, Phyllis Dooney, Stacy Kranitz, Zoe Strauss and Masterji.

Its theme focuses on the realities of lives largely invisible to mainstream culture, highlighting two coupled, timely issues: Working-class people who have been left behind by technology and globalization, and immigrants who have become the focus of fear and insecurity.

Anna Van Lenten, LightField’s founder, says, “This year, the art we’re exhibiting amounts to a powerful assertion of the underlying realities of people who, day to day, face challenges to their dignity from within and without their communities. As well, we’re aiming to look at the ways in which the ‘realism’ in the art contains entry points to broader conversations.”

In addition to the documentary work on exhibit, “Just the Facts” will present screenings, talks and associated events, including a screening of director Manny Kirchheimer’s 2017 film “Canners” and a celebration of the work produced by the Young Photographers Workshop (YPW), a free program for teens from underserved areas in the Hudson region. According to Van Lenten, these and other events aim to “invite viewers to look past common stereotypes, to spark lively discussion and to increase insights into our shared world.”

LightField is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to showcasing the work of innovative and distinguished lens-based artists through exhibits, festivals and talks; it also offers educational photography workshops for young people. LightField’s annual festival aims to spark discussion about the aesthetic choices documentary artists make, to highlight the power of lens-based art to spotlight social issues and provide a framework for discussion and debate.

Just the Facts,” LightField’s second festival of photography and multimedia art, runs from Aug. 12 to Sept. 30, 2017, in Hudson Hall, Hudson, N.Y. The exhibition and related events are free and open to all. A schedule of screenings and events are posted at Lightfield’s website.

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Man, West Virginia, 2016. (Photo: © Stacy Kranitz)


Marietta, Ohio, 2010. (Photo © Stacy Kranitz)

Parker as Caucasian, from ‘An Indian from India’ project, 2003

“As an immigrant, I am often questioned about where I am ‘really from.’ When I say that I am Indian, I often have to clarify that I am an Indian from India. It seems strange that all this confusion started because Christopher Columbus thought he had found the India and called the native people of the Americas collectively as Indians. (Photo and quote: © Annu Palakunnathu Matthew)

Alma — photo animation, from ‘To majority minority’ project, 2014

The America of yesterday, filled with immigrants of European descent is giving way to a new multi-colored and multicultural America. By 2050 “minority” populations in the U.S. will become the majority of the population. This project reframes our understanding of our newest immigrants who don’t necessarily look typically “American.” The final photo animations reveal family histories and shared stories of immigration. (Photo: © Annu Palakunnathu Matthew)

Halea and Destiny, from the ‘Gravity is stronger here’ project

Halea Brown and her girlfriend, Destiny, lounging in bed in Greenville, Miss., on Nov. 25, 2014. (Photo: © Phyllis B. Dooney)

‘Journey through time, Damian,’ from the ‘Gravity is stronger here’ project

A collage of archival photographs featuring Damian Hollis in Greenville, Miss., on Dec. 20, 2015. (Photo: © Phyllis B. Dooney)

Home visit Wolverhampton, late 1950s

Khan, bus conductor. They had one daughter. Later they divorced and he moved to Canada, and left the house to his daughter. (Photo: © Masterji)

Young women, 1970s

Striking young women in the 1970s, defiant, bold and a lot of attitude. (Photo: © Masterji)

I-95 highway

Detail I-95, 2000-2010. (Photo: © Zoe Strauss)

I-95 highway

Detail I-95, 2000-2010. (Photo: © Zoe Strauss)

‘The school to prison pipeline,’ Troy, N.Y.

Collage of young residents from North Troy shows the intersections shared by school, the justice system, and students from this marginalized neighborhood. The American Civil Liberties Union has labeled these connections “The School to Prison Pipeline.” The involvement of increasingly younger students has forced the evolution of the phrase, “The Cradle to Prison Pipeline.” Race, ethnicity, family income, and disabilities factor disproportionately in the lives of students caught up in this cycle. (Photo: © Brenda Kenneally)

Kayla, Summer 2005, from the ‘Upstate girls project’

Still from video made in year one of 13-year document of “Upstate girls project,’ Troy, N.Y. (Photo: © Brenda Kenneally)