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Time to Get Ready: Fotografía Social with Maria Varela

March 26, 2024 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm
University Library - Jack & Florence Ferman Presentation Room
A woman marks a black panther ballot, Lowndes County, Alabama, 1966 and a photo of Maria Varela
(L), A woman marks a black panther ballot, Lowndes County, Alabama, 1966. Photo by Maria Varela. Maria Varela Photography. (R), Maria Varela at the end of the Meredith March, 1966. Photo by Matt Herron. Courtesy of Maria Varela.

Join us as we welcome Maria Varela to the CSUN campus! Maria is a community organizer, writer, and photographer, who lives in New Mexico. She was a staff member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee from 1963-1967 working primarily in Alabama and Mississippi. She took up the camera because of the lack of materials showing Black people taking leadership to change their communities.

In 1968, she moved to New Mexico at the invitation of leaders of the Hispano Land Rights movements. She continued her photography documenting the 1968 Poor Peoples Campaign, the first Chicano Youth Conference, the 1960s and 1970s Chicano movement, and the lifestyles of Nuevo Mexicano villages.

For over 50 years, Maria organized rural communities in New Mexico and the Southwest to create culturally sustainable economic enterprises to help reduce poverty and loss of ancestral lands and waters. In 1990, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for this work. In 2005 she was among the 1000 Women Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

For the last five decades, her photographs have been included in books and photo exhibitions, including the New York Public Library (1968), the Smithsonian (1980), the Howard Greenberg Gallery (1994), Eastman House (1998), The Colorado College (2000), Smith College (2005), a traveling exhibit, This Light of Ours (2010-16), Center for Documentary Expression and Arts and Time to Get Ready, a solo exhibit curated by the National Museum of Mexican Art (2017-2018), The Fralin at UVA (2019), Bullock Museum in Austin (2020), Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles (2023) and Oxford, St John's College UK (2024).

Maria serves on the Board of Directors of the SNCC Legacy Project, which documents the work of SNCC in the 1960s and mentors today's young activists.

Sponsors: The University Library, the Distinguished Visiting Speakers Program, the University Student Union, the College of Humanities, the Departments of Journalism and Chicana/o Studies, and the Tom and Ethel Bradley Center.

Please RSVP on the form below.


Assistive Services

Requests for accommodation services (e.g., sign language interpreters or transcribers) must be made at least five (5) business days in advance. Please e-mail in advance of the event.