Time: May 21-27, 2022
Location: Arcadia Public Library
Sponsored by East West Bank, the “Through the Lens: An Asian American Experience in 2021” photojournalism exhibition and book launch premiere was unveiled on May 21 at the Arcadia Public Library. More than 80 elected officials, Asian community representatives, community leaders, and media professionals from the greater Los Angeles area attended the event.
Through the Lens: An Asian American Experience in 2021 is a project co-organized by the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles (PPAGLA) and the Chinese Culture Development Center (CCDC). The exhibition features more than fifty photos by ten leading Los Angeles photojournalists. These photos provide a panoramic view of fifteen anti-Asian discrimination rallies and commemorative events throughout the Greater Los Angeles area from February 20 to June 26, 2021. In response to hate crimes against the AAPI society, people of all ethnicities participated these events and used banners and signs to speak out their words: “To love, not to hate; to unite, not to divide.”
The ten participating photographers in the exhibition are all award-winning photojournalists, including the 2021 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Breaking News Photography Ringo Chiu, PPAGLA President Apu Gomes, Associated Press Staff Photographer Damian Dovarganes, Los Angeles Times Staff Photographer Genaro Molina, former photography department director of the China Youth Daily, and other experienced photojournalists. They traveled across the Greater Los Angeles blocks and lanes during the Covid-19 pandemic and documented precious activism moments. Some of the exhibited photos have been published by Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Los Angeles Times.
PPAGLA and CCDC also released a commemorative book of the photo exhibition, including 83 photographs and a chapter of voices from elected officials and local community organizers. “The pandemic was devastating for all of us, but it was particularly difficult for the AAPI community who experienced a huge increase in anti-Asian rhetoric and hate crimes,” said Rep. Judy Chu in her message to the book. “That is why this event is so important because it highlights the challenges that AAPI communities have faced over the last two years, as well as their unwavering efforts to Stop AAPI Hate.” Congressman Ted Lieu and California Assemblymember Mike Fong also sent congratulatory letters to express their support for the project.
The week-long photo exhibition will be on display from May 21 through May 27, 2022, and is free and open to the public. Later this summer, the exhibition will likely travel to the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library and Cerritos Library.