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AT LOCAL | NoCal Film Night: Through a Lens Darkly

July 23, 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

NoCal Film Night: Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People

Tuesday, July 23, 5:30-8:00 PM PDT

AT LOCAL virtual programs present opportunities to connect as a local chapter online. This event is for members of ArtTable’s Northern California chapter. Stay tuned for AT LOCAL events near you!

How to take part!

  1. Register for this event here
  2. Following registration you will receive call-in information in the form of a ZOOM link
  3. Before joining a Zoom meeting on a computer or mobile device, you can download the Zoom app from the Download Center and select the “Zoom Client for Meetings” option. Alternatively, you will be prompted to download and install Zoom when you click a join link.
  4. For further instruction on how to use Zoom, see here.

This program is for ArtTable members only!

Additional Registration information

  1. To view the film, all attendees will need to create an account with, a free service that allows you to stream films through libraries.
  2. To create an account, go to You will need a library card to set up your account. If you do not have a library card, contact your local library branch to receive one digitally.
  3. Once you have signed up for an account, visit or search for the title of the film to access and view the film.

Join the Northern California Chapter for a virtual film night where we’ll watch and discuss Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People. Co-produced by art historian Dr. Deborah Willis, Through a Lens Darkly is the first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations, and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present.

Members are welcome to join for just the discussion part of the program from 7:15 – 8:00pm PST if they would prefer to view the film on their own time.

NOTE: Please be aware that this film contains explicit images of racial violence.


Bringing to light the hidden and unknown photos shot by both professional and vernacular African American photographers, Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People opens a window into the lives of black families, whose experiences and perspectives are often missing from the traditional historical canon. African Americans historically embraced the medium as a way to subvert popular stereotypes as far back as the Civil War era, with Frederick Douglass photographed in a suit and black soldiers posing proudly in their uniforms.

These images show a much more complex and nuanced view of American culture and its founding ideals. Inspired by the book Reflections in Black by photo historian Deborah Willis, the film features the works of esteemed photographic artists Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas, Coco Fusco, Clarissa Sligh, James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks, and many others.

Click here to see who’s already registered!

Thank you to Northern California Executive Committee for organizing this program!


July 23, 2020
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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ArtTable Northern California

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