We're still glowing from his visit. Students tell me how they felt his images haunt their imaginations and transformed the way they think about history. They were awed, moved and fascinated.
The faculty in attendance thanked me repeatedly for bringing him. One who teaches African Civilization told me that his images reached her students in ways that she hasn't been able to do all semester. Seeing the story his work tells and the strength of the images themselves made it all real and comprehensible. And she said she saw a number of her students nodding their heads through his presentation.
She was very excited. So were the students. And I notice that one of them has taken an image of his as her Facebook profile photo on line. It's her way of celebrating her connection to his work. And she is spending a lot of time with her classmates, looking at his website! They're taking extended lessons from him by visiting www.chesterhiggins.com.
Thank you for your generous, informative and inventive visit and presentation!"
Professor Nina d'Alessandro
Faculty of Arts and Science
New York University
"Chester Higgins is a wonderful speaker and he engages with the students in an open and exciting manner. They will definitely retain what he shares with them."
- Professor Deborah Willis, Tisch School of Art at NYU.
Lecture Samples: Feeling the Spirit: Searching the World for the People of Africa
For three decades, I have explored the world on an odyssey of self-discovery. With my camera, I seek a fresh, untainted image of myself and people of African descent.
Join me on my tour to parts of the world that reveal a new understanding of a people whose true history has been corrupted for centuries. This knowledge will forever change how you see people of African descent and perhaps even alter how you view yourself.
In my book, Feeling the Spirit: Searching the World for the People of Africa, I explore the lives of African people, who live on the four Trans-Atlantic continents in many different nations and are separated by geography, national boundaries and language. Although we are a diverse people, we are similar in ways that bind us one to another. In our diversity we are much alike.
Elder Grace: The Nobility of Aging
Aging in America has a negative image problem. We all want to live as long as possible - we just don't want to get old to do it. It is so important that we confront our negative attitudes about aging and learn how to be more embracing of this natural process. We need new images of aging that look beyond stereotypes and pathologies - images that will encourage us to change our own negative attitudes about aging. With a positive realization, we can then address the goal of transforming America into an aging friendly society. The images in the Elder Grace Project helps to define a new category of aging, called Elderhood.
In the ten years of making some 500 portraits of African American, whites and Asians I looked for four things. First, the subjects had to be seventy years or older. Secondly, they had to have white hair. Thirdly, they had to have a countenance of dignity and finally, their eyes had to be connected to their minds. Please join me as we visit some distinguished elders who are the living embodiment of my belief that Aging gracefully can become a work of art.
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