DePaul Art Museum > Exhibitions > Demanding Change, Bearing Witness: Images from the Wilson-Garling RiseUP! Social Justice Photography Collection

Demanding Change, Bearing Witness: Images from the Wilson-Garling RiseUP! Social Justice Photography Collection

​​​​​Opening virtually Fall 2022

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Demanding Change, Bearing Witness: Images from the Wilson-Garling RiseUP! Social Justice Photography Collection is a virtual exhibition that uses documentary photography to tell the story of how everyday individuals advocated for social change across the United States. Containing curated photos from the Wilson-Garling RiseUP! Collection, this exhibition highlights the multitude of people who put themselves on the line for what they believed in. Paired with Langston Hughes' 1935 poem, “Let America Be America Again," Demanding Change, Bearing Witness demonstrates how freedom in America is an ideal concept that has not yet been achieved. However, through decades, even centuries of protest, everyday people have gathered in solidarity and inched closer to the ideal freedom that America can offer. 

Photography as a medium opens the possibility for anyone to bear witness and provide evidence of the events of the past from the point of view of people who put aside their everyday life to demand change. Images illuminate connections between the past and the present. Through photography, anyone can act as a reporter, witness, or active participant in changing history. The majority of the photographs in this exhibition are taken by anonymous individuals who have captured moments of everyday people involved in social justice movements.​

The exhibition​ highlights the actions of individuals over notable historical figures. By including photographs of the "boots-on-the-ground" individuals, the audience will be able to see themselves in the images and recognize their own abilities to be involved in current social justice ​issues. The contributions of migrant workers, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, women, and children are prioritized, in the hopes of inspiring people to action, in alignment with the initial intent of the Wilson-Garling RiseUP! Collection​.

Created by students, for students, Demanding Change, Bearing Witness hopes to educate and inspire the next generation to stand up, to give voice, and to make the changes they want to see in the world.

Image Credits
Flip Schulke (American, 1930–2000)
We Demand an End to Bia​s Now! Huddle of demonstrators, March on Washington, August 28, 1963
Vintage gelatin silver print
Courtesy of Thomas J. Wilson and Jill M. Garling

This virtual exhibition is supported in part by the Vincentian Endowment Fund.​