Join us for a Civil Rights photography exhibition
  • Date 29 April 2024 - 2.00 p.m. - 18 May 2024 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Location Kendrew Barn Exhibition Room

Drop in to the Kendrew Barn Exhibition Room to see a new photography exhibition featuring the work of Civil Rights photographer, Maria Varela.

Dates: 29 April - 18 May

Time: 2 PM - 6 PM Weekdays

11AM - 3PM on Saturdays

Opening reception: 29 April 5 PM - 7:30 PM, talks at 6PM, register with link

In 1963, Maria Varela travelled to Atlanta, Georgia to join the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee as an office worker. However, within three weeks she was assigned to work in dangerous Selma, Alabama as a literacy program worker.  For the next four and a half years, Varela would work as an educator, organiser, and writer in the deep South. It was not until 1966 that, dissatisfied with representations of Black people in the Movement, Varela would pick up a camera. Through her lens, she captured images of marches, speeches, and protests. But primarily she captured the hard work that went into sustaining the everyday organizing to build the Movement from the bottom up – including voter drives, vegetable co-operatives, and community activism around jobs, education, housing and segregation of public institutions.  From events such as the Meredith March Against Fear, to profiling leaders such as Fannie Lou Hamer, Varela’s photography offers an important perspective on one of the most significant periods of reckoning in American history.

An additional public talk featuring Maria Varela will be held at the RAI at 5 PM on 30 April. Details in link.

This exhibition is generously supported by: St John’s College, the Rothermere American Institute, Christ Church College, the British Association of American Studies, the Oxford Festival of the Arts, and the National Museum of Mexican Art.