Makeda Best will be in conversation with the photographer Sebastián Hidalgo with a focus on his practice as a visual journalist.


Makeda Best is the Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at the Harvard Art Museums. Her exhibitions include:Time is Now – Photography and Social Change in James Baldwin’s America (2018) and Crossing Lines, Constructing Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art (2019). She has written for numerous catalogs and journals, most recently for the National Gallery of Poland, Kunsthalle Mannheim, The Archives of American Art Journal, The James Baldwin Review and the Rhode Island School of the Design’s Manual. Her forthcoming book is Elevate the Masses – Alexander Gardner, Photography and Democracy in Nineteenth Century America (2020). She is co-editor of Conflict, Identity and Protest in American Art (2016). She has performed extensive service for the field, including as a juror for CENTER Santa Fe, as a reviewer at FotoFest and PhotoNola. She was most recently the 2020 juror for the Annual Exhibition of the Photographic Resource Center in Boston. She serves on the board of the CASE Art Fund. She holds a graduate degree in studio photography from the California Institute of the Arts and a PhD from Harvard University.


Sebastián Hidalgo believes photography has the power to change the world. But he understands that ‘change’ doesn’t live in a silo. True change requires everyone and that’s why his approach to visual journalism actively seeks it through collaboration.

As an award-winning visual journalist, his work has been recognized as "setting an example to journalism". Having earned high achievement by some of the region's most prestigious awards and exhibited permanently at The National Museum of Mexican Fine Art. With over five-years of professional experiences and a lifetime living in the conditions he often covers, Hidalgo’s work focuses on a range of social and systemic issues affecting multi-cultural Latinx and Black communities across the United States.

In 2018, Hidalgo was named among 12 Emerging Photographers You Should Know by The New York Times - Lens, and Among 10 Latinx photographers documenting their communities by Remezcla. His methodology has led to collaborations with a variety of publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, ProPublica, CatchLight io. and National Geographic.

Earlier in 2019, he went on to co-create The Visual Desk™—a bi-weekly editorial support group for freelance visual journalists interested in a more inclusive approach to serving communities beyond simple storytelling. Frequently hosting public lectures and meetings about the intersectionality between community organizing and the ethics of visual journalism for UnionDoc, Borderless Magazine, National Geographic Society, and CatchLight io. - Local. Today, Hidalgo is a National Geographic Explorer, writer, mentor to over 200+ students, and independent visual journalist.

Hidalgo continues to freelance daily assignments and on collaborative investigative projects across in the Midwest region.

Date: September 10, 2020
Time: 6:00 pm CT

Cost: FREE via Zoom with registration
Location: Online