For workshop availability and additional details please send all inquiries to:

Know Your Rights for Photography

KYR for Photography is grounded in the historical analysis and power of bearing witness through the lens, beginning with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement. It offers information on the rights of photographers, but also encourages participants to consider the kind of agency that can be created individually and collectively through storytelling. Ultimately this is the kind of power that artists hold, to inspire political movements, to sway public opinion, and reach far beyond the constraints of our limited legal system. 

Through this workshop participants will learn what constitutes public space and freedom of speech under the First Amendment (with regard to both photography and protest), restrictions or exceptions, ethical considerations, and the role of citizen journalism in the age of livestreaming + smartphones. We will examine the correlation between the privatization of public space, increased surveillance, and militarization of local police and/ or private security, and best practices on documenting unconstitutional police activity when it occurs. 

Know Your Rights for Protests:

Our goal is to demystify the law for people engaging in protest activity. We maintain that everyone has the right to access and understand the law in order to protect themselves and others from unconstitutional police practices. Know Your Rights workshops provide people with the tools to make informed and confident decisions during police encounters. They cover best practices when filming and documenting cops, technology, and security concerns, and the “magic words” that will let police know when you are invoking your rights. They are participatory and include opportunities to share experiences and ask questions. Workshops are tailored to the needs of particular organizations, with sensitivity to those disproportionately targeted by racialized police violence. We believe that those most oppressed by the criminal justice system should be leading the movement and hope that our resources provide support to communities in struggle. KYR for Protests workshops are facilitated in collaboration with the National Lawyers Guild.

Artist Lecture

Shanna Merola is a visual artist, photojournalist, and legal worker. Her sculptural photo-collages are informed by the stories of environmental justice struggles past and present. Travelling to EPA designated Superfund sites, she has documented the slow violence of deregulation – from her own neighborhood on the Eastside of Detroit, to Chicago’s Altgeld Gardens, and Love Canal, NY.

In her lecture Merola will discuss the various way that photography has played a role in her practice. Weaving between different bodies of work, collaborations, and social justice organizing she makes a case for the medium as a tool for liberation. As a legal worker, Merola has documented political uprisings across the country – from the struggle for water rights in Detroit and Flint, MI - to the uprisings for racial justice in 2020. The lecture will also draw parallels between historic flashpoints in United States history, through an archival exploration of the Detroit 67 Rebellion to firsthand documentation from the frontlines of Ferguson, MO and Standing Rock, ND. 

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