About This Project
As a part of our Photography as Exchange project, Mural Arts Philadelphia invited social practice photographer Wing Young Huie to Philadelphia to work with youth in our Art Education Program. Wing did photography workshops with students from Waring Elementary School, participants in the Southeast by Southeast project, and at the NorthEast Treatment Center while he was in Philadelphia. Hailing from Minnesota, Wing’s work explores culture and identity through the creation of thoughtful, layered images that penetrate our preconceptions. After presenting his work to students, he began his “Chalk Talk” method of pairing participants with questions that explore identity, race, and connections between neighbors.
Wing’s Chalk Talk exercise originated from a photo series he did in Minneapolis called The University Avenue Project. Workshop participants interview each other, write their responses on a blackboard in white chalk, and snap a picture of one another in order to connect the words on the blackboard with the person who expressed them. Students then went out into their neighborhoods and continued the exercise with the public. Through asking tough questions, students received some tough answers, opening up room for conversation and connection. The photographs were installed on the ground floor windows of the Municipal Services Building, across from City Hall.