“Diversity of Devotion”, NY 2008
DIVERSITY OF DEVOTION: Celebrating New York’s Spiritual Harmony
The “Diversity of Devotion” project, marked Jenny’s curatorial debut in New York. She conceived of, produced and directed the citywide call for photography and subsequent exhibitions which explored and celebrated the theme of spiritual diversity and religious freedom in the aftermath of 9/11.
In 2008 while working with the photography collective, Positive Focus, I was asked to try my hand at curating a show. The inspiration for “Diversity of Devotion” came from acknowledging the tensions in our country after the horrific events of 9/11. However, NYC is known to be extremely diverse both ethnically, culturally and spiritually. For example, the 2.5 square mile radius of Flushing NY, is considered the most religiously diverse area in America.
We encouraged photographers in NYC, to shoot specifically for this project while stepping out of their comfort zones and reach out to local religious institutions and spiritual practitioners whom they might not be as familiar. The results were incredible!
Our esteemed team of Jurors were as diverse as the subject matter: Molly Roberts, Photo Editor / Smithsonian Magazine, Eli Reed / Magnum, Tewfic El-Sawy / Egyptian-born travel photographer, Alison Nordstrom / curator at George Eastman House and Russell Joslin / Editor of SHOTS magazine. They were tasked with selecting the top 30 images for inclusion in the inaugural exhibit housed at the Safe-T Galley in DUMBO – Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit was a success which inspired me to begin the search for a larger venue.