We Are Worth Everything: Survivors as Themselves

SHOW DATES: February 3 – March 14, 2020

RECEPTION: February 8 | 3–5 PM

We are Worth Everything: Survivors as Themselves features portraits made in collaboration with Survivors by Judy Walgren, Eve Edelheit, and Maddie McGarvey. Also featured is a poem by Kimberly Ann Priest titled “Celebrate.”

Exhibition Statement:

Visual archives are powerful devices for building and perpetuating cultural perceptions of communities, especially groups who have been involved in traumatic events. During a recent online search using “Survivors” and the name of an infamous abuser, the viewer is confronted with gridded images of extremely distraught women interspersed with photographs of a large group of women standing onstage during a high-profile awards ceremony. This body of work, created collaboratively between the photographer and the people portrayed, attempts to expand narrowly focused visual narratives around the Survivor community from Michigan State University and beyond. By presenting images that reach beyond visualized trauma and triumph, we hope to present a more nuanced view of these courageous people, expand the archive and move their stories forward.

This is an ongoing body of work. If you identify as a Survivor and would like to participate in our project, please email Judy Walgren at walgrenj@msu.edu.

Judy Walgren is the Associate Director and Professor of Practice in the School of Journalism at Michigan State University. Walgren is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, photo editor, executive producer, curator, and writer. She has worked on staffs at the Dallas Morning News, the Rocky Mountain News, the Denver Post and the San Francisco Chronicle. As the director of photography at the Chronicle, she led a staff of Emmy-award winning filmmakers, photojournalists and photo editors. Walgren also served as the Editorial Director for a visual storytelling startup, ViewFind, which connected large brands with photo editors, photographers, writers and designers who created branded, non-fiction visual narratives for both digital and print platforms. In 2016, she received an MFA in Visual Art from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and began her exploration into the relationships between visual archives and power structures.

This exhibition was possible thanks to support from the Michigan State University College of Arts and Letters, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Art, Art History, and Design.