Perhaps no other subject has been so well documented as the lives of children. The first text message to include a photographic image was a birth announcement; today, snapshots of children, teens, and young adults are among the most widely shared images across digital platforms. Photographic images of children have sparked some of the most contentious conversations in contemporary times and raise new and pressing concerns regarding privacy in the age of social media. Yet what kids think, feel, and understand about themselves as represented within the medium plays a far less prominent role in these debates. What do young people perceive when they see photographs of other kids, or of themselves? What is it like for them to hold a camera and to photograph themselves, their peers, and the world around them?
“Just Kids” is an exhibition of photographs of and by children, teens, and young adults, organized in partnership with middle and high school students. A collaboration among colleagues in the Minneapolis Public School District and the Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts and the Departments of Photography and New Media and Learning Innovation at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the exhibition offers a fresh perspective on the work of photographers including Dawoud Bey and Carmen and Alec Soth.