Tuesday, September 2

kodak.com presents
Milbert O. Brown

“The Journey: The Next 100 Years”
February 22, 2001

Photographer Milbert O. Brown chats about his most recent project “The Journey: The Next 100 Years,” a collaborative work documenting African American life, sponsored by the Chicago Alliance of African-American Photographers.


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Kodak: Good evening! Tonight we are pleased to be able to bring Milbert O. Brown, the director of a project called "The Journey--The Next 100 Years," to you via this state-of-the-art chat application. This project visually presents a compassionate relationship with African-American subjects often overlooked. Now is your chance to ask questions and participate in this event.

Kodak: Welcome Milbert! Let's get started!

Milbert Brown: Well Hello!

Alfred: This project seems to be shot entirely in black and white. Why is that?

Milbert Brown: Good evening Alfred. The project was shot in black and white primarily because we wanted to emphasize and to place focus on the subjects, as opposed to dealing with the saturation of colors. We wanted to bring to this project a certain level of classiness. Often black and white is something people don't use anymore. So one way to bring this new resurgence and to make this project different, from a visual standpoint, is to do it in black and white.

Denzel: Is there a book showcasing this amazing body of work?

Milbert Brown: At this present time, we just began a series of exhibits. The first venue that showcased the work was at the South Side Community Art Center in Chicago and the second venue was The Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Chicago. So at this time in the first year, 2001, we wanted to have exhibits in the Chicago area. We are currently developing a book and want to shoot some more things in this coming year.

Frank: Do you have a website for the Chicago Alliance of African-American Photographers?

Milbert Brown: Yes, we do have a website. It's a pretty informational site, and it's at www.caaap.org. The website features some segments of the "Journey" work and it also features bios of the photographers as well as some of their personal work. The website also presents in a really quick version what the project was about.

Gabby: What is the next project for the Alliance?

Milbert Brown: The emphasis of the Alliance is really on several kinds of missions. Our mission is to promote aesthetic awareness of the African-American community through visual imagery. We (the group) plan to continue working on the project. The "Journey" project did not end as of last year; it's an ongoing project. One of the things we plan to do is promote some of our members' work in the way of solo shows, and we'd also like to enrich the membership by learning new techniques in photography. Some of our members are hobbyists. Not all of our members are professionals.

Nadja: What was the biggest thing you learned after doing this project (photographically and emotionally)?

Milbert Brown: The thing I learned about doing a project of this magnitude, photographically, was having everybody work together as a team. Emotionally, it was an exhilarating experience for me. It was kind of a rebirth for a lot of us, working out there as a community.

Helena: First let me say that I really like these photos! How many photographers were involved in this project?

Milbert Brown: There were about 58 photographers that contributed to the "Journey" project. Some of the photographers were professional photographers, including two Pulitzer Prize winners--Ovie Carter and John H. White. So we had pretty seasoned professional photographers that worked on The "Journey" project. We also had commercial freelancers, which is a different photographic dynamic from newspaper photographers. As well, we had people who were just interested in photography and in the project; people that I called 'photo enthusiasts.'

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