Occupy D.C. comes to life in Goethe-Institut’s Facing Democracy

(c)Lucian PerkinsWashington, D.C. is a “city of protests.”

That’s how former Washington Post photographer and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lucian Perkins, a featured artist in the Goethe-Institut’s new exhibit, Facing Democracy, portrays the District in her series of photographs of the Occupy D.C. movement. On Monday evening, Jan. 28, the Goethe-Institut hosted a reception for Perkins and two other artists, Danny Wilcox Frazier and Jenny Graf Sheppard, who documented the Occupy Movement and the civil unrest in the United States.

Perkins considers protests an “important part of who we are as Americans” and set out to capture images of the Occupy D.C. movement and anti-war protesters. The walls of the exhibit are hung with images of confrontations between protestors and the U.S. Park Police, tents protestors temporarily lived in, and anti-war demonstrators. Although many of the photographs feature animated protestors and policemen, a particularly striking image is of a reserved woman sitting alone in the street with all of her belongings. About 20 of Perkins’s photographs are featured at the gallery.

One of the walls of the exhibit featured a video from Baltimore-based artist Jenny Graf Sheppard. Entitled Site Specific and Everywhere, the piece is a 15-minute loop of images that have influenced the Occupy Movement. Graf Sheppard’s body of work demonstrates the role New Media has played in shaping various political and social movements, including Occupy D.C.

Danny Wilcox Frazier contributed Foreclosures in Detroit, having spent the last six years documenting people grappling with the economic crisis that has devastated rural communities in his home state of Iowa.

Facing Democracy is on display until Feb. 24, and the exhibition is part of the larger “Mapping Democracy” Event Series that focuses on the possible changes and future of democracy. As a part of the series, the Goethe-Institut is screening documentary films on the theme of political power across Greece, the United States, and Germany. Tickets for the films are $4.75 for students.

The Goethe-Institut is located at 812 Seventh St. NW, about two blocks from the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro Stop.

Photo: Lucian Perkins/Goethe-Institut Washington

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