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Out My Window
Where some photographers duck, Nancy Shia doesn’t. In the “Mt. Pleasant Uprising” gallery of the artist and activist’s collection Out My Window, there’s a photo of a man running down the street screaming. He holds a 2×4 in his hands; behind him a photographer turns to shield himself. The black and white photo was taken during one of the nights of the 1991 Mount Pleasant Uprising. The photos that follow show the protest marches a year later, depicted in the glorious colors of early ’90s film stock. The full collection covers 40 years of life in D.C., and is full of similar scenes of celebration and unrest. The other three galleries include “D.C. Latino Festival,” “Gentrification,” and “Homelessness.” The first two cover public moments, like parades and protests. The latter is more intimate, like her portraits of a man named Piloto and his boys, who she shoots spending a day on a stoop on Columbia Road NW. It’s sunny, and they gather around Piloto, listening to his handheld radio. The gallery closes with some photos from Reaganville, the Community for Creative Non-Violence’s campaign to raise awareness for unhoused people dying of hypothermia in the District. One photo shows a sign in Lafayette Park that reads “Welcome to Reaganville. Population growing daily. Reaganomics at work.” Behind the sign, the White House sits in soft focus. After so many months of looking out our own windows, check out Nancy Shia’s and see a D.C. undergoing change and a D.C. that’s long been fighting for its people. Find her collection at www.outmywindowbynancyshia.org.