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UnEqual Scenes: Johnny Miller
Jun 5, 2020 - Nov 7, 2020
UnEqual Scenes uses a drone to illustrate the inscribed history of the world in a new way. The scars within our urban fabric, so apparent from above, can provoke a sense of surprise, at the same time they reveal our complicity in systematic disenfranchisement.
By placing a non-human photographic actor – in this case, a remote-controlled drone – above these liminal spaces, a new vantage point is reached, previously reserved for the government and the very rich. The drone distances the photographer and the viewer of the photograph, both physically and mentally, and provokes an analysis of the distant gaze. It forces us to confront the ethics of representation, and the limitations (and freedom) of using technology in image-making.
Discrepancies in how people live are sometimes hard to see from the ground. The beauty of being able to fly is to see things from a new perspective – to see thing as they really are. Looking straight down from a height of several hundred meters, incredible scenes of inequality emerge. Some communities have been expressly designed with separation in mind, and some have grown more or less organically.
My desire with this project is to portray the most Unequal Scenes around the world as objectively as possible. By providing a new perspective on an old problem, I hope to provoke a dialogue which can begin to address the issues of inequality and disenfranchisement in a constructive and peaceful way.
About the Artist
Miller attended Dickinson College in Pennsylvania in the United States of America and the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He is currently a News Fellow at Code for Africa, a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity at the London School of Economics, and a BMW Responsible Leader. Johnny Miller is also the co-founder of africanDRONE, a pan-African organization committed to using drones for good. He was awarded both a Project Launch grant from CENTER and a M. Reichmann grant in 2017 and a Lens Culture Emerging Talent Award in 2016. Miller has exhibited his photographs in South Africa, India, Great Britian, Australia, Germany, Italy Greece, Norway, Belgium, France, Israel, Nigeria, and the United States.
Video & Connections: Exhibition Guide
Download Connections: Exhibition Guide >>
The Story Behind TIME’s Cover on Inequality in South Africa – By Katherine Pomerantz; Time; May 2, 2019.
UnEqual Scenes: South Africa from the Air – Photographs and text by Johnny Miller; LensCulture.
Aerial Photos Capture Just How Differently The Rich And Poor Live – By Katherine Brooks; Huffington Post; June 27, 2016.
Shocking Aerial Photos Highlight Wealth Inequality in Cities Worldwide – By Jessica Stewart; My Modern Met; August 17, 2018.
Drone Photography Shows Stark Inequality Around the World – By Joanna Fu; HYPEBEAST; August 15, 2018.
The Project ‘Unequal Scenes’ Highlights Socio-Economic Gaps Around the World – By Kala Barba-Court; PLAIN Magazine; August 22, 2018.
Want to visualize inequality? View cities from above – By Sydney Combs; National Geographic; March 22, 2019.
Why Do We See So Many Things as ‘Us vs. Them’? – By David Berreby; National Geographic; April 2014.