May 10, 2024 - News

Philadelphia students explore deep topics in photos

Student Andre Geffen's photo of the Philly skyline behind a gate and "Do not enter" sign.

Student Andre Geffen's photo of the Philly skyline behind a gate and "Do Not Enter" sign. Photo: Courtesy of the Weitzman

Dozens of Central High School students put their lens on democracy as the U.S. deals with deepening divisions over important social issues.

Why it matters: The art installation at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History includes photographs or photo essays from 60 students, some of whom are immigrants.

Driving the news: The exhibit, on display through Sunday, is part of a broader project inspired by PBS program "American Creed: Citizen Power," following two Stanford professors who round up young leaders as they explore existential threats to their communities.

Zoom in: Students' submissions were answering the question: Where do they see their views on the "intersection of citizenship, community and care in their lives?"

  • The photo essays explore intimate family moments, the struggles as members of the LGBTQ+ community and the perspectives of outsiders.

What they're saying: Student Andre Geffen writes that his untitled photo of the Philly skyline behind a gate and "Do Not Enter" sign is a commentary on the value of community, per the museum's website.

  • "Without a community, you are trapped, left to simply dream of having one," he says.
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