Looking Back on Flint amid Covid
About the Project
Since 2014, residents of Flint have fought for their right to safe drinking water. The gross negligence of government systems, a failing infrastructure, decades of racial inequity and rising income inequality left the community exposed to lead poisoning. As the community’s battle to secure clean water continued, the City of Flint was then hit hard by the COVID-19 Pandemic. These compounded crises further exposed systemic inequities in communities nationwide and pushed Flint residents to be self-reliant as they had been amid the City’s ongoing water crisis. ECHOES: Looking back on Flint amid COVID, is a photographic collaboration between students of News Movement, Report for America fellow KT Kanazawich, Flint Beat, and Emerging Lens 2020 Fellow Brittany Greeson.
ECHOES reflects on the City of Flint amid these layered challenges. The images explore themes of hope and despair, love and loss, and connection and separation during the global pandemic. They do not attempt to encapsulate a single experience but rather explore narrative threads connecting the complex perspectives of Flint’s community members amid such challenging moments in history. This exhibit illustrates stories and experiences that can resonate and be felt in all communities, especially during challenging times, and can inspire resilience and hope.
about the artists
Brittany Greeson is a Detroit, Michigan based documentary photographer. She is the 2020/2021 ART WORKS Projects Emerging Lens Fellow.
KT Kanazawich is a photojournalist for Flint Beat based in Flint, Michigan from Binghamton, New York.
News Movement is a youth journalism program administered by Flint Beat. Youth photographers for this project include: Kimora Carr, Ty’a McQueen, Tierian Hall, Adrian Merriwether, Laila McDougal, Travis “Trey” Davis, Sima Gutierrez, Armoni Roland, and Ania.
The opening of ECHOES was held at the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village on the north side of Flint, where News Movement classes are taught. As part of this project, both Greeson and Kazanawich held a series of workshops with students about self-documentation using iPhones donated by ART WORKS Projects.
On February 22, 2022, University of Michigan-Flint and ART WORKS Projects held a virtual program featuring Flint residents Felicia Johnson-McGee and Morgan Blue, public health expert Dr. Lisa M. Lapeyrouse, Associate Professor of Health Science and Administration at the UM-Flint, and AWP collaborating photographers Brittany Greeson and KT Kanazawich for a panel discussion organized by the Urban Institute for Racial, Economic, and Environmental Justice. The conversation was moderated by Ben Gaydos, Director of the Community Design Studio at University of Michigan-Flint. This program was presented in conjunction with the exhibition ECHOES: Looking back on Flint amid Covid, on view at Riverbank Arts (400 N. Saginaw St.) February 11-25.
ECHOES artist discussion (1 hour video)
bring this exhibit to you
All of our exhibitions are designed to tour and can be adapted to a broad spectrum of venue types and sizes.
We are happy to provide step-by-step support for hosting this exhibit.
Contact us to learn more about bringing this exhibit to your community.
Installation at the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village in Flint
First of all, Andre and I having this opportunity to tell our story in this particular form is powerful. The images in the exhibit were quite moving to me because I know the story behind some of them but I also feel they allow others to witness and feel the humanity in our collective survival experience.
Projects like ECHOES are important because it shines light on communities where some stories may otherwise go unnoticed.
The body of work I witnessed in the ECHOES project gave space to so many unsung heroes by representing, reflecting, showing respect for the humanity of the individuals captured in the images. The work encompasses unfathomable grief, the playfulness of children despite isolation, and the resilience of a community navigating a Pandemic, amidst its ongoing “Water Crisis” battles.
I feel honored that the ECHOES project gives our community a face and voice by showing the world what it looks like to survive in world that’s been turned upside down by the Pandemic…and all that’s come with it.
Thank you for creating a space for us to be SEEN…thus heard through visual messages which communicate our survival, sacrifice, and strength.
Felicia Johnson-McGee, Flint Resident
Emerging Lens Project
ECHOES was completed with support from the Emerging Lens fellowship.
Emerging Lens is ART WORKS Projects’ signature program that awards project support, unrestricted grants, and mentorship to emerging photographers working to document social justice and human rights issues in their own backyards and around the world.
resources & tools
Key Facts: Flint Water Crisis
The National Resources Defense Council created an article detailing the key facts and dates within the Flint Water Crisis.
Timeline of the Flint Water Crisis
Michigan State University has complied statistics, data, and reports into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Flint.
support for this project
ECHOES is generously supported by the Henry Nias Foundation.