What’s new this weekend in local arts.

Beginning Saturday, the Corcoran shows off its new photography acquisitions in a new exhibition called How Is the World? Highlights include new self portraits by Kate O’Donovan Cook, Hank Willis Thomas‘ images that reflect elements of African-American identity, and Edward Burtynsky‘s stark photos emphasizing the oil industry’s impact on land. To May 26 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. $10.

Writer and activist Amiri Baraka has courted controversy for much of his career, but he remains one of the most well-respected and widely published poets of his generation. He’ll speak about his myriad political views and present some of his spoken-word pieces at Bohemian Caverns Friday and Saturday night. 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th St. NW. $28.

The D.C. Independent Film Festival continues throughout the weekend. You can check out reviews of some of the films here. Also running this weekend, as part of the Atlas Intersections Festival, is the Our City Film Festival, which showcases films that have some sort of D.C. bent. Some selections are almost unbearably saccharine (Columbia Heights kindergartners work with filmmakers to make a movie about the lives of monarch butterflies), while others about Chinatown and U Street promise to be a little more lively. The films begin at noon at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. $12.

Artists GA Gardner and and Andrei Petrov collaborate on a new show at Morton Fine Art, opening Friday. Both artists will work with different mediums and techniques to create organic, abstract works. Gardner, who works in D.C., frequently uses a variety of materials in his works, while Petrov is a more traditional, oil-and-canvas kind of guy. An opening reception with both artists takes place at 6 p.m. on Friday. To April 2 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. Free.

Top image: Edward Burtynsky, Oxford Tire Pile #9AB, Westley, California, USA. Courtesy Corcoran Gallery of Art and Edward Burtynsky

Bottom image: GA Gardner, Red, White and Blue. Courtesy GA Gardner and Morton Fine Art