“Feedback: A Campus Conversation About Race”—an exhibition to encourage open dialogue about perceptions of race at Vanderbilt—opens on Wednesday, April 13, from 5 to 7 pm in the west atrium of Cohen Memorial Hall. The exhibit is comprised of nine photographs from a 2013 Hidden Dores campaign based on the “I am Harvard Campaign” paired with troubling posts from Yik Yak, an anonymous social media platform, collected over the course of the fall semester 2015.
Rebecca VanDiver, assistant professor of history of art, curated the exhibit along with the Creative Team of the Hidden Dores Student Organization. “Dialogue is accomplished in part,” said VanDiver, “by coupling photographs of Vanderbilt students, who have an opportunity to speak out and speak back to those who question their presence on campus, with anonymously written comments posted on Yik Yak, candidly revealing popular on-campus interior narratives that are problematic and antithetical to the ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
On view through May 26, the exhibition was made possible through the generosity of Vice Chancellor George Hill and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the Department of History of Art, and the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery.
Assembled on a table in the midst of the exhibit is a student-curated selection of books that explore race relations, campus activism, and the black experience, as a supplement to the photographs and quotations exhibited on the surrounding walls. A mix of non-fiction and fiction, some of these books offer statistics, where others offer stories. While not a comprehensive list, these books are just a few to help foster understanding and to start a conversation with the viewer and with members of the Vanderbilt community within this space and beyond.