The Queer Lens: Photographers in Conversation

Program June 15, 2023, 7 p.m.
Virtual Program

Photography has long been used to challenge mainstream cultural narratives and create new ones. For artists living in a world that often denies their existence, photography can be a tool of empowerment, revealing beauty, vulnerability, and humanity.

Join artists Jaypix Belmer, Jess T. Dugan, and C. Rose Smith for a virtual conversation moderated by WBUR's Cristela Guerra. Each artist will discuss how they use the photographic image to construct queer visual histories through intimate representations of individuals with nonbinary, transgender, and gender-expansive identities. 




The Queer Lens: Photographers in Conversation, 2023. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University.



Cristela Guerra is an award-winning journalist and senior arts and culture reporter at WBUR. Before switching to public radio, she was a print reporter for more than a decade, working at The Boston Globe and The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida. Recently, she was one of 24 journalists from around the world selected for the 2024 class of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Her coverage last fall on the experience of Venezuelan migrants locally as well as at the U.S.-Mexico border also just received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award. Shedriven to understand people, committed to local journalism, and hopes to use arts and culture as a lens to delve deeper into issues of race, equity, and social justice. 

Jaypix Belmer (they/them) is a non binary black, indigenous person of color who uses the lens as a tool for storytelling. Born and raised in Boston, MA, Belmer is a graduate of New England Art Institute with a B.A. in Photography and has worked with clients in both private and commercial industries, delving into the subtle intricacies of class, capturing the unconsidered people and places who inhabit the urban landscape while attempting to bring light to the voiceless.

Jess T. Dugan (they/them) is an artist whose work explores issues of identity through photography, video, and writing. Dugan’s work has been widely exhibited and is in the permanent collections of over 50 museums throughout the United States. Dugan’s monographs include Look at me like you love me (MACK, 2022), To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults (Kehrer Verlag, 2018) and Every Breath We Drew (Daylight Books, 2015).

C. Rose Smith (she/them) is a Boston-based artist who uses photography, fashion, and time-based media to thread the connections between identity, memoir, and sociopolitical landscapes. Smith’s recent achievements include the 2023 Prix Picto De La Mode Top 10 Finalists with Picto Foundation Paris, France and 2023 Coup de Coeur Award with Leica Camera Paris, France, 2022 Inaugural Silver List of Emerging Photographers and was a 2021 finalist for the Aperture Magazine Portfolio Review Prize. Smith’s work has been featured in group exhibitions at Hangar Arts Center in Brussels, Belgium; Fotofest  Biennial, Houston, TX; Blue Star Contemporary, San Antonio, TX; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA; and Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta.


This program is a co-presentation with WHERE ARE ALL THE BLACK PEOPLE AT in partnership with Photographic Resource Center and the Gender and Sexuality Center at Brandeis University.


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