SHUT IT DOWN! was a photography exhibition and community conversation series curated and organized by Mattie Loyce of Mission Gallery and Leonardo March, a Boston based photojournalist. The exhibition was 6 weeks long including weekly conversations lead by local organizations and community members that did work directly related to the Black Lives Matter movement and actions taking place in the greater Boston area.
Please read the exhibition statement below:
'Since activists Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi propelled into the world the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in the summer of 2013 the movement for racial justice has attained an enormous impact across the United States. Following the murders of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice as well as the acquittal of the perpetrators, cities across the United States experienced a resurgence of protests and calls to demolish institutionalized racism.
Embedded in this context, Boston experienced a surge of activism between the November 2014 and January 2015 with thousands protesting. The chants ‘I can’t breathe!’, ‘Hands up don’t shoot!’ and ‘Shut it down!’ were heard across the city on almost a daily basis during December 2014. It was a time where groups like Mass Action Against Police Brutality, We are the Ones and Black Lives Matter-Boston were born, imbuing the city with a new energy in activism and solidarity.
Shut it Down! includes a collection of various photographers documenting this energy and its manifestations throughout Boston. A total of 26 images, curated chronologically, showcase powerful moments and the landscapes of the movement. In addition, the images are interjected by events for which no image was submitted, such as the I-93 action or a die-in by 4th and 5th graders from Prospect Hill Academy. A mark representing these actions was included so the audience can visualize the progression and amount of actions.
In addition, throughout the duration of the exhibition curators have organized a weekly Community Conversation Series inviting community partners to facilitate conversations with respect to the content of the exhibition and their own related work.'