“We didn’t want to become resigned to a sense of darkness,” say the organisers of new print sale States of Change, which sees some of the world’s best-loved photographers come together to fight voter suppression in America
Election day in America is looming. On the November 3 – a mere three weeks from now – it will be revealed whether the turmoil of the Trump administration will continue for another term, or a new, more hopeful era will prevail for the Democrats under Joe Biden. It is undoubtedly one of the most crucial elections of our generation, and the fate of the result lies in the hands of just five key swing states: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Arizona. With the future of the country hanging in the balance, “a small group of artists and friends trying to make a difference” have launched print sale States of Change, which is raising money to support local groups working on the ground in these vital states to fight voter suppression and to get out the vote.
The sale has seen donations from a staggering 150 artists and, among them, some of the most celebrated names in photography, including Gordon Parks, Larry Sultan, Mario Sorrenti, Nan Goldin, Susan Meiselas, Sally Mann, Carrie Mae Weems, Cindy Sherman, Dawoud Bey, Ed Ruscha, Alec Soth, Catherine Opie, Stephen Shore, Robert Frank, Steve McCurry, Hank Willis Thomas, Kim Gordon, and many more. Running until this Sunday (October 18), each print in the sale is 10 x 12 inches and is priced at $150.
States of Change is organised alongside the Movement Voter Project, which has selected 42 of the most impactful local community-based organisations working in the five key swing states to send proceeds to. With a focus on young people and communities of colour, Movement Voter Project works to strengthen progressive power at all levels of government by helping donors – big and small – support local community-based organisations to get out the vote, fight voter suppression, and galvanise communities to build infrastructures that will lead to lasting change. “We support hundreds of incredible organisations that both turn out unlikely voters and organise communities to grow their power and create transformation, from policy to the streets. We believe that supporting local movement vote groups is the most effective and most cost-effective strategy to transform our country,” say Movement Voter Project.
“In this short period of time before the election, groups are working on everything from early vote education and mobilisation to polls protection to fighting voter disenfranchisement,” the team behind States of Change explains of the objectives of the sale. On what drove them to action, organisers say, “there’s the prevailing sense that the country and our democracy are spinning out of control, and that we are powerless to stop it. We didn’t want to become resigned to a sense of darkness and had to act. Inspired by the change artists made with the Pictures for Elmhurst project, we decided to band together again to support these amazing non-profits. Every dollar we donate will make a real and direct impact on voter turnout.”
States of Change runs from October 14 – 18, 2020 – buy your print here.