fell the trees so the sky can bear witness

Jordan Murphy

For his documentary work FELL THE TREES SO THE SKY CAN BEAR WITNESS, Jordan Murphy travelled to sites related to anti-black lynching & mob violence in his home state of Illinois. The work is an attempt to push back against historical amnesia in the North, and his own blind spots as a white American. Through the process of research, it became clear that a lot of this information is inaccurate, vague, or not readily available, and that this type of violence was widespread outside of the ‘traditional South’, so the work should not be considered comprehensive. Much remains to be done in "working off the past" in the United States. Murphy tries to fill in information, clarifying names of victims and locations where violence occurred. The work is meant to be presented as 2 simultaneous slideshows of images, 2 photographic prints, a map of locations, and a list of names.

Jordan Murphy

In between continents. Photographer from the US who moved to Berlin in 2018. I do documentary work, personal and otherwise. I also like to cook and eat. Find me on instagram @hiicontrast or at hiicontrast.com.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

on an island in the sun somewhere. All jokes aside, I'd like to have a photobook published, and I'd like to continue making work that's inspiring and interesting to me. And hopefully, to others as well.

What is a good design for you?

I'm not a design student but... eye-catching, unique, with a strong sense of identity.

What was the most challenging experience during your studies?

Adapting to university during the pandemic with Zoom classes, isolation, different time zones... that was a learning experience.

Who or what inspires you?

People who care about things. My fellow classmates. Artists. Activists. And food.

How do you approach a new project?

I think about something in my personal life that I would like to express, or I think of a topic I'd like to explore further and I begin trying things out.

What advice would you give to students who just started studying in your programme?

Challenge yourself. Be open to critique and feedback. Have fun.

Have you changed during your studies? How?

I've become much more comfortable with being vulnerable during my studies, and my entire idea of what photography can do and be has broadened immensely.

Why did you choose to study in your programme?

I was moving to Berlin and wanted to study photography.

What are you not going to miss in your studies?

Deadlines. Process books. The end of the semester.

How are you going to celebrate your graduation?

Take a vacation somewhere and have a nice dinner.

Say hi!

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