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Picturing patriotism.

When writing about artists whose work deals with issues of citizenship and patriotism for our March issue of Walker (mentioned here and here), I encountered a conundrum. The piece references works by choreographer Bill T. Jones and poet Sekou Sundiata, but I couldn’t illustrate it with photos from those performances because they’d be used elsewhere […]

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When writing about artists whose work deals with issues of citizenship and patriotism for our March issue of Walker (mentioned here and here), I encountered a conundrum. The piece references works by choreographer Bill T. Jones and poet Sekou Sundiata, but I couldn’t illustrate it with photos from those performances because they’d be used elsewhere in the magazine. Plus, the story is about the broader issues artists face when dealing with “political” subject matter.

Enter: Walker photographer Cameron Wittig, who created this photo illustration, a perfect metaphor for the difference between active citizenship and superficial patriotism. As Sundiata told me, “I have never been interested in patriotism. I am interested in a citizenship of conscience. The first proposes a kind of uncritical blindness; the other proposes a look at America that does not flinch or blink.”

Look for the essay in two weeks in the print issue of Walker. Details on Jones’ March 10 performance Blind Date here, and info on Sundiata’s the 51st (dream) state, March 31 and April 1, is here.

  • david says:

    I Love this….serisouly, it is my new desktop…but this

    As Sundiata told me, “ I have never been interested in patriotism. I am interested in a citizenship of conscience. The first proposes a look at America that does not flinch or blink; the other proposes a kind of uncritical blindness.”

    is sorta ass-backwards…shouldn’t that read ‘ the _latter_ proposes(…)?

    Just saying. Anyway, the photo is perfect

  • Ass-backwards it is. Thanks for pointing it out; I’ll definitely make a correction.