When asked in 2016 to guest edit a special edition of Aperture magazine devoted to the photography of the black experience, Sarah Lewis knew two concepts central to the notion of American citizenship — vision and justice — would comprise the issue’s underlying theme.
“No matter the topic — beauty, family, politics, power — the quest for a legacy of photographic representation of African Americans has been about these two things. The centuries-long effort to craft an image to pay honor to the full humanity of black life is a corrective task for which photography and cinema have been central, even indispensable,” Lewis wrote in the issue’s introduction. The Aperture edition, inspired by Lewis’ Harvard course “Vision & Justice: The Art of Citizenship,” is also the creative inspiration behind “Vision & Justice,” an upcoming two-day meeting hosted by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The April 25‒26 event will bring together experts, artists, and scholars from Harvard and beyond to “consider the role of the arts in understanding the nexus of art, race, and justice.”
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