Jordan Shanks is a filmmaker, screenwriter, and self-taught photographer. A 2018 graduate of Howard University, his art is revolutionary, telling the unrest and racial awakening stories through his millennial lens. This weekend, he unveils his newest project, a photo collection “Love Letters to America: Part II and short film, “Never Again” at the Richmond Art Garage in Virginia. A follow-up to the nationally recognized debut photo collection, Love Letters to America: Part II features striking images from the Black Lives Matter protests from Ferguson, MO, Baltimore, MD, Richmond, VA, and New York City. Affected by the numerous police-related shootings and murders, Jordan Shanks began to travel the country, documenting the struggle for racial equality.
When asked about how millennials feel right now, the 25-year old, Shanks said young people are aware, fed-up, and firm in their resolve for change. “This is a pivotal time in our nation’s history; we are reconciling with the past, navigating the issues of this moment, and deciding what our future looks like.” Like so many creatives, Jordan Shanks wanted to use his art to make a statement about the country’s events and wanted to document and preserve this moment in history via photos and film. He says he hopes this exhibit and film inspire people to remain hopeful for change.
The short film, Never Again, chronicles social justice moments and follows the removal of Confederate statues in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia.
Shanks will participate in an artist talk alongside Heidi Abbott, whose works are also part of the Racial Awakening exhibition. On Saturday, October 17, their discussion will occur at 2 p.m. ET at The Richmond Art Garage. Kristen Green, an award-winning journalist and New York Times’ best-selling author will moderate their conversation.
The exhibition will run from Friday, October 16 through Saturday, October 31, in Richmond, VA; however, Shanks expressed plans to take this exhibit to other cities in the future. Select prints will be sold onsite. A virtual exhibition will be available to the public at JordanShanks.com. Images can also be purchased on October 19, 2020, with a percentage of proceeds that will benefit local youth-based art programs and the Anti-Racism Fund.
Danielle Sanders is a journalist and writer living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.