2022: Crisis of Authority

Shifting the Control of Societal Institutions

Marijke Pieters-Kwiers, Syracuse University
Jeff Thomas, New York University

Attempting to adapt is at the forefront of 2022. With an increasing number
of people getting vaccinated, more of the workforce returning to in-person work and school, and an expanding effort to instill a sense of normalcy, it almost seemed like COVID-19 had come to an end. However, with the ending of one crisis comes the opening of another. Civil conflicts broke out around the globe, and now, unresolved anger with government leaders and feelings of exclusion are in the spotlight.
This photographic exploration, “Crisis of Authority: Shifting the Control
of Societal Institutions,” aims to give younger generations a voice in the decision of foundational institutions that government leaders previously had full control over. As authority is increasingly unstable and elections for new leaders take place, new voters are demanding systemic change focused on improving their lives. The featured undergraduate photographers provide insights on the justice and medical system from the point of view of minorities. They tackle the injustices ingrained in these institutions and attempt to tell the stories of those affected by their exclusionary practices. The photographs offer a new lens by tackling the medical and punishment systems’ effectiveness and prevalence in a modernizing world.

Photographic Exploration

The work explores the feeling of being objectified as a female medical specimen, being seen but not believed. Combining self-portraiture with the medical system’s x-rays, endoscopy, narrative descriptions of offices with specialists, this series depicts the disconnectedness one feels from their body when their pain is not believed.

Marijke Pieters-Kwiers, Syracuse University

An MRI with a subsequent drug prescription.
A nervous young girl, waiting for a diagnosis.
The corner of a doctor’s office.

“BOTHAM” showcases photos taken at an NYC protest nearly two weeks after the murder of Botham Jean. It offers the ambivalent bystander an honest look into the ethics of the United States justice system by providing a glimpse into the intensely passionate world of protest.

Jeff Thomas, New York University

New York City – September 28 2018 – A man stands in silence, protesting the obstruction of justice and liberty in America. Many protestors took photos of him to share on social media. Credit: Jeff Thomas
New York City – September 28 2018 – The march through through the streets begins on 14th and Broadway. A single police officer manning the intersection realizes what is happening. Credit: Jeff Thomas
New York City – September 28 2018 – Protestors chant in unison, shouting anti-police rhymes and encouraging others to press on. Credit: Jeff Thomas