Workshop with photographer Joshua Rashaad McFadden

Earlier this year we had the chance to welcome an internationally successful photographer from Nuremberg’s twin town Atlanta at our school. How did that opportunity arise?

Joshua Rashaad McFadden was showing his exhibition “After Selma” from 22 March to 26 April  at the Caritas-Pirckheimer-Haus in Nuremberg. The International Office of the City of Nuremberg together with the German American Institute organized some school visits. The artist offered  a workshop with discussions and hands-on activities to create a passion for change.  A wonderful chance for class 9a to communicate in an authentic setting about issues that matter to them!

Joshua Rashaad McFadden  grew up in Rochester, New York, studied photography at North Carolina and completed his master’s degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia where he now lives.

His exhibition “After Selma” deals with the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s and today’s Black Lives Matter protests. He’s passionate about these issues and wants his audiences to become conscious of the continuing racism and social injustice.

Here are some first-hand accounts by the students of class 9a about his visit:

When we came into the room, Joshua Rashaad was already preparing his presentation for us. To begin with he had a few problems with the technology. When he had solved these, we talked about bullying in schools. After that we could ask some questions about his work and his life as photographer. Then he showed us works form his exhibition “After Selma”. He also explained about the racism in the past and today. We also played a little roleplay with our neighbours: we had to ask each other some questions about our life. We realized that Joshua was very interested in German culture and he was really curious about teenagers and children in Germany. Finally he told us about his social media accounts, so we can follow him and learn more about his work. (Benz, Jeremias, Patrick, Alex P.)

During Joshua’s visit we looked at his photos and talked about Selma and what happened there. We also talked about his project “After Selma”. We asked questions, in groups we made interviews and took portraits just like he works on his projects.  (Nicolas, Pascal)

We talked about different stereotypes people have of each other. We also talked a lot about bullying and photography. We discussed how we can solve bullying. We also talked about his contribution “After Selma” and the pictures in this exhibition. Joshua McFadden was a very friendly person and nobody had problems with communicating in English. We found out that Joshua has been making pictures since he was seven. (Lars, Leon, Boris)

Joshua is an open-minded and friendly person who is working with people of colour and tries to change the thoughts of people with his pictures. His work is focused around creating social change. He is connecting photos and the stories of human beings. He tries to prevent racism. He is making people think about the problems with racism. He wants to include the audience. Our opinion about the visit? It was worth meeting him because he was an interesting person who knows what he wants. Also the way he presents his projects is very inspiring. (Julian, Anton, Gielan, Alex S. )