Last year the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, in conjunction with the City Gallery, presented a far-reaching exhibition, Southbound, that called into question the term ‘New South’ through the work of over 50 photographers.

In his cover story on the exhibit, which opened in October and will be on display through this March, writer Chase Quinn asked, “What are we actually talking about when we talk about the New South, a term bandied about with the same frequency (and often the same conceit) with which people label Charleston ‘quietly progressive’?”

Next weekend, Jan. 11-12, the Halsey presents a symposium featuring talks from Southbound photographers and CofC professors. The weekend opens on Fri. Jan. 11 with a keynote address from photographer Sheila Pree Bright titled #UNAPOLOGETIC. When Quinn interviewed Bright last year, she talked about repeating history:

“The South was where, in the 1960s, you had the civil rights movement. They took a stand. And eventually they took down the signs, the ‘whites only’ and the ‘blacks only’ signs, but racism never went away … You see a repeat of history. Are we learning from history?”
Bright has captured responses to police shootings in Atlanta, Ferguson, Baltimore, D.C., and Baton Rouge in her series, #1960Now, which focuses on the efforts of young leaders affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement.

On Sat. Jan. 12 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. head to a day of talks at the College of Charleston School of Sciences and Mathematics Auditorium with topics that range from Confederate monuments to the Underground Railroad to the “selective Memory of the South.”

Michael Arad, the designer of the forthcoming Mother Emanuel AME Church Memorial, will end the symposium with the closing keynote address, Memory in the Public Realm: Making the Past Present. Arad, who designed the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center, will speak about the roles of memorials in public memory — and present his design of the Mother Emanuel project.

All talks are free and open to the public. To see the full schedule and learn more about Southbound, head to

Love Best of Charleston?

Help the Charleston City Paper keep Best of Charleston going every year with a donation. Or sign up to become a member of the Charleston City Paper club.