Cleveland State University will present a free lecture by Steve Cagan, the award-winning documentary photographer and activist from Cleveland, on Thursday, February 5 at 6 p.m. in Mather Mansion, 2605 Euclid Ave., Room 301. A reception will follow the lecture.
Cagan’s topic is titled “El Chocó, Colombia: Struggle for Cultural and Environmental Survival; an Everyday Resistance” and is part of Cleveland State’s 2008-2008 Cultural Crossings Lecture Series: Memories, Reflections and Recollections.
Cagan is a documentary photographer and activist living in the Cleveland area with over 30 years’ experience of photographing and exhibiting. Major projects include “Industrial Hostages,” a documentary of the effects of factory closings in Ohio in the late 70s and early 80s; work in Indochina in 1974; aspects of daily life in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Cuba, and “Working Ohio,” an extended portrait of working people in our area.
His current major project is “El Chocó, Colombia: Struggle for Cultural and Environmental Survival,” a look at the beautiful but threatened rain forest area and the special cultures that live there that are also under great threat. In 2008 he directed a “laboratory” on the topic in the art program of the Centro Colombo-Americano in Medellín, which involved two exhibits of his work and a photo workshop he led in the Universidad de Antioquia.
Another current area of work is nature photography, especially in Forest Hill Park, and a series of black-and-white “bird portraits.”
Cagan has exhibited nationally and on three continents. His reviews and critical writings have been published in a variety of professional journals and books. He has received two Fulbright Fellowships, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and several Ohio Arts Council Fellowships and New Jersey Arts Council Fellowships. He taught at Rutgers University from 1985 to 1993. He has taught photography at the Universidad de El Salvador as a Fulbright Fellow.
Cagan and his wife Beth co-authored the book, This Promised Land, El Salvador, which in 1991 won the Book of the Year Award of the Association for Humanist Sociology. In 1991 he was recognized as “Teacher of the Year” at Rutgers University. He has a long history of activism in the anti-war and social justice movements, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Greater Cleveland Community Shares.
The Cultural Crossings lecture series is sponsored by Cleveland State’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. For more information, please call 216.523.7168 or visit www.csuohio.edu/class/crossings.
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