How the 1961 Freedom Riders Hijacked Their Mississippi Mugshots

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apexart

291 Church Street

New York, NY 10013

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Photographer Eric Etheridge discusses how the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Rider mugshots were made, how they survived and their legacy today.

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In 1961 the Freedom Riders filled the jails in Jackson, Mississippi and helped end segregation in bus and train stations across the South. The Riders’ “jail-no-bail” strategy—one which used the state’s power against itself by causing it to incur expenses rather than profit from Riders’ incarceration—also resulted in an upending of the mugshot process, leaving behind 329 photographs that indicted not their subjects but the apartheid state of Mississippi. The 329 portraits that remain are compelling and frequently stellar. Eric Etheridge, author and photographer of Breach of Peace: Photographs of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders, will discuss how the mugshots were made, how they survived, and the two murals he has made for The Criminal Type: one of which features the only the forward-facing mugshots, the other featuring only the profile mugshots. He will also discuss their relationship with earlier images, especially the 1850 Zealy slave daguerrotypes (several of which are also on exhibit in The Criminal Type).

This event is in conjunction with the exhibition, The Criminal Type, curated by Elizabeth Breiner. The Criminal Type was a winner of the 2019-2020 apexart NYC Open Call.

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apexart

291 Church Street

New York, NY 10013

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