Feb

13

35 Comments

  1. Yay!!!!  

    Bennett is awesome! Good job!

  2. Overall

    a beautiful and amazing accomplishment! But I kind of wish there had been a bit more diversity. There were, what, half-a-dozen blacks or Latinos in the digital exhibit? I know that it's impossible to get a perfect picture of Columbia, but it made me sad to see such a gorgeous and expansive project but feel somehow left out by the lack of representation of my place at Columbia and the places of some of my friends. I hope there's a part 2 that can achieve that--and so I can see more stunning photos and hilarious interviews!

    • I think the project is meant to be diverse in respect to the experiences and distinct identities of the people involved. There's straight, gay, adopted, foreign born, black, latino, Jewish, Christian, people inside/outside of the mainstream, people who like to stick their heads out of windows, etc.

      But, you're saying that diversity must mean a certain percentage of black people? Oh, and you realize that they're not done, right? So why don't YOU send them an email?

      • Anonymous

        By saying I wished for more diversity, I wasn't trying to invalidate the experiences or diversity of the people included, I was literally saying that I wished for more of this that included some people with different experience, i.e. being black or latino. There also weren't a lot of Southerners in the collection, but the lack of blacks and latinos was more visibly noticeable to me, and I figured it would be to others, too. And I DID email them last semester to be included in the project, but they were understandably busy and we couldn't reconcile our schedules. Again, in no way did I mean to denegrate the efforts or the project or the people included therein which is clearly evidenced by my compliments on the project. However, your defensiveness and reactivity are noted. Satisfied?

        • This shit was voluntary, people. VOLUNTARY. And yet, because of some learned hypersensitivity, it's suggested that they should've turned white people away to keep the ratio of blacks/latinos (which are suddenly, for the purpose of this argument, the same group) relatively even to the white group.

          The only comments here should've been along the lines of congratulations to the authors of the work who, without much recent precedent, are bringing a lot of people together in a fun, high profile way.

      • ewwww  

        diverse in respect to experience? maybe
        diverse in respect to race? no! why can't there be just as many black or latino straight, gay, adopted, foreign born, Christians, etc. as white?

        This project was just a dumb excuse to put all the annoying people at Columbia that already get too much attention, even more attention

        • argh  

          uch--there ARE more white people on campus, thus, it makes sense for 99 Columbians to have a higher percentage of white students in it. If you want the exhibit to be representative of Columbians (and not your bias preferences) than the largest representative groups would be white and Asian-American. This is NO WAY means that Black and Latino groups are in any way less respected, or any experience a Black or Latino/Latina Columbian had is not equally important to the general student body. But simply, if the project is trying to reach as many people as possible, it will not have have the exhibit have representatives of only a quarter of the student body.

          Experience also does not = ethnicity or race.

          If this is so, then LGBTQ members will have their experiences completely delegitimized .

          this exhibit was supposed to defy definitions and let each INDIVIDUAL speak for his or her self. not let each person speak for huge scores of people, countries, and even sections of the world. ridiculous.

    • KB

      They never said their goal was not to portray a representative cross-section of Columbia students. These subjects are those who volunteered to be photographed (in response to an internet campaign). Attacking the group for not being diverse not only misses the point of the project, but also makes the assumption that diversity is defined by race.

      I don't think this project necessarily reflects Columbia's diversity. I do think there are some wonderful portraits, and that it is quite an ambitious and well-executed project.

      • Anonymous

        How was I "attacking?" All I said was that I wished I'd seen some more racial diversity. If anything, I was expressing an admiration for what I saw, and a wish for more in the future. The exhibit made me more cognizant of the many types of people at school, and I appreciate that. I just feel like the lack of color is pretty noticeable when going through the photos. Never once did I say the lack of racial diversity was a failure on the part of the creators of the project, or that they deliberately excluded blacks or Latinos. I was really just trying to express a personal reaction, and a desire to be included if nothing else, but it seems people are determined to turn my comments into some negative, overarching dismissal of the exhibit. That is absolutely the last thing I want to do. I honestly thought I was simply stating the obvious by mentioning the lack of brown here. Is it not obvious to others? I'm asking in earnest.

    • anonymous  

      thats such a lie, if anything there are way more asians than any other race.

  3. yoooooo  

    where all the ghetto fabulous people of Columbia at?!?!?! This is not diverse at all!!!!

  4. Anonymous

    What a bunch of unique little snowflakes

  5. lame  

    No one else thinks this concept is really trivial and self-indulgent?

  6. actually  

    I thought it was quite nice. Some of the photography was exquisite. It's an art project, what art isn't "trivial"? And hardly self-indulgent on the part of the artists since it takes the concept of self almost completely out of it. Some of the subjects were less than ideal and used it as shameless self-promotion, but I liked the idea a lot.

  7. ...  

    it's kinda like columbia's own version of chatroulette, but with more posturing, less masturbation and slightly more text...

  8. well  

    if you say that you want to "bring together people that make up Columbia's diverse student body", then to me at least it sounds like you're making some claim to an accurate representation of the undergrad population here. the problem is less the fact that there are less blacks and latinos than the very premise that you're going to get some kind of "authentic" cross section of the population here.

    This is the problem with all of these sorts of portrait-photo projects. The new york times does one, and corporate ad campaigns do them sometimes too. You know, its always with some claim of "diversity" and "characters" or what not and celebrating the special-snowflakeness of a bunch of kinda-quirky better than average looking people. But in the end it all rings hollow because someone is inevitably left out, and intentionally or not it doesn't matter. It's making the claim to being all-encompassing that hurts people that don't fit into your life experience.

    Basically, kudos to the young photographers that put in all the good work for this, because its a nice achievement for what I assume to be freshmen (given all the photos in carmen), but the genre of photography that you are reaching for generally sucks, and your talent could be put to much greater use doing something else.

    • Don't Assume

      "if you say that you want to “bring together people that make up Columbia’s diverse student body”, then to me at least it sounds like you’re making some claim to an accurate representation of the undergrad population here."
      ...that's so totally not true. that phrase, taken as it is, states that the subjects are taken *from* the diverse student body, not that they are, collectively, the diverse student body. And really, if there's one thing I took out of and appreciated about Columbia, it was that you can't put people there into pretty little boxes like race or major or socioeconomic background. This project is art, not necessarily journalism, it doesn't have to be "accurate". you don't have to like all of the people who are interviewed to appreciate the concept, either, in reference to somebody above. The photos are beautiful, and the stories are interesting and provide a window into life at Columbia as seen in a semi-random sampling. You'll miss a lot of the value if you get stuck at "well, it's not really that diverse a sample." Think outside the box.

    • ...

      actually, they're both juniors. the freshmen from Carmen just volunteered more than others.

  9. so very columbia

    to agree more that it's pretentious and self-indulgent (when we are all pretentious and self-indulgent to varying degrees), than to agree we might not be as racially aware as we think we are. to the people who didn't notice anything wrong with the lack of "brown" here, tell me what it's like to not notice race when walking around columbia. as one of the few if not the only black people in most of my classes, I've never experienced that before, and it must be so wonderfully blissfully unaware.

    • ...  

      as one of the black people featured in the shoot, I think that we've become racially hypersensitive. Would you have been happy if 12% of the faces were of some kind of African descent? What purpose would that serve? I know I tried telling my black and Latino friends about it and they didn't really express interest. If it's one thing I've learned from being at Columbia, it's that even though I'm the only black person in many of my classes I still share commonalities with classmates of various backgrounds than I would in some Africana studies class. Or maybe not? People need to stop equating race with diversity and, like above commenters stated, see people as people. You have so much more to offer the world than just your color. I won't dwell on it if you don't.

      side note: my recaptcha is "decent system." Let's try to find one that'll get people out of this mindset.

  10. Give me a large break  

    Must there be "quotas" for everything? Here's a situation where ANYONE could have participated: it was up to the individual to contact the photographers about being included. If you feel that there aren't enough Black/Brown/White/Red/Yellow/Purple people included in this exhibit, then you shouldn't blame the photographers; you shouldn't blame the participants; and you SHOULD blame the Black/Brown/White/Red/Yellow/Purple people who chose not to participate.

    THERE'S MORE TO A PERSON THAN THEIR RACE! Perhaps one day you'll realize this.

  11. who cares  

    about race? that was not their intention. unfortunately, their end product still comes off as self-congratulatory. "the goal of bringing together the diverse group of individuals that make up our student body" ... isn't that what every student group tries to do, though maybe not as explicitly?

  12. wow  

    these comments are so ridiculous and petty, taking something beautiful and making it into something angry. can no one just appreciate the art and move on? this is so not the forum for racial anger.

  13. ...  

    the irony is, poo-pooing it is a self-congratulatory behavior in and of itself... although anonymity annuls that to a certain degree...

  14. perhaps I wasn't clear  

    its not just the failure to be diverse that makes these sort of photo projects lame, its the idea that everyone is unique in their own special fuzzy sort of way and the leveling effect that that produces. Yes, everyone is special, but only to extent and certainly by varying degrees, and this sort of unquestioningly celebratory approach to "individuality" both diminishes the significance of those who really do stand out from the crowd in important ways, and DOES make a claim to be portraying diversity, if not necessarily racial diversity.

  15. Anonymous  

    You guys are arguing about diversity in terms of race by guessing what race the individual looks like, I was photographed and am in the project and look white but am Latino, unless you know me, you'll probably assume I'm white, so let's stop making assumptions! They did a wonderful job and doubt you guys could've done better and could've brought more people together. So if you want to help the project then participate instead of just criticizing it.

  16. Amazed  

    This project is so cool. I love it! I just wish there was more information about the people, the little snippets of information make me want to know more about them. But overall, Kuddos!

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