Julian Plowden, is a Kennesaw state Student and artist who decided, after attending a protest at the Atlanta CNN center, to use photography as a medium to involve himself in activism. That choice led him on an unexpected journey in which he’s explored art, the movement itself and Black self-identity within the realms of his experiences and others. Plowden even sacrificed his own funds and a free semester without class to travel the country photographing the roots of a renewed Civil Rights Movement, document protests from Ferguson to Atlanta and work alongside activists from Boston to Selma. Recently his work was purchased by Emory University’s MARBL Collection and he’s presented his work at a few Universities including Harvard and now his homeschool, Kennesaw State. Plowden’s photography explores how art and activism reinforce one another, and his work demonstrates the power of student art and creativity to inspire change. To date, he says his highest accomplishment is being featured in The Louvre Museum, Paris, France. -2016
“I originally picked up a camera to document my Architecture portfolio for class, but as I grew in photography, the foundations of my design school found their root and I began to challenge myself to take more meaningful photos. I wanted to tell a story with my work. With the protests, I found myself blurring the line between street photography, art, and trying to curate the history of what I was observing. My work seeks to combine current events with the context of society’s mindset to allow viewers to reveal truths about the reality of the “freedom” that they possess through an overarching thematic dialogue present in my photos and video.”- 2016
Most of my work is seen through the medium of photography currently. I have been speaking to other architects about theories related to “smart culture” or what can act as a catalyst for influencing smart cities to be embraced in mass, most recently someone with The Academy of Neuroscience For Architecture and with designers at the Atlanta Design Festival. I’m not sure how the role of the Architect will evolve in the future, but I know the direction I wish to research, explore and live.