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Arts and Entertainment

More Than A Decade Of Protest Photography In Los Angeles

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Los Angeles is a city that knows how to speak its mind, as is evidenced by photographer Cindy Bendat's new exhibit "BE THE CHANGE: Los Angeles Protest Photographs 2003-2017." The exhibit, which opened Monday at the University Art Gallery at California State University Dominguez Hills and will run through October 10th, showcases 58 photographs from twenty-first century Los Angeles protests spanning from 2003 to 2017.

"BE THE CHANGE" documents a wide range of grassroots movements, including anti-Iraq War actions with Veterans for Peace and CODEPINK, immigrant rights/amnesty marches, protests on international issues including Arab Spring and Burma freedom, the 2011 Occupy Los Angeles encampment, a Black Lives Matter march, labor union rallies and photographs from the 2017 Women’s March in Downtown Los Angeles.

Many of Bendat's photos are devoted to finding small, human moments within larger movements —a mother holding her child at a Burmese freedom rally, two men flashing peace signs from an Occupy encampment, a couple embracing as they march through Century City to protest the Iraq war. As many Angelenos take to the streets in protest once again, these brief moments of connection feel all the more relevant.

"These photographs celebrate Los Angeles activism. There is no better time than now to protest wrongs and to organize for a better tomorrow," Bendat notes in her artist's statement, urging exhibition visitors to "Be the change."

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"BE THE CHANGE" is open through October 10th, Monday—Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. California State University Dominguez Hills is located at 1000 E. Victoria Avenue, Carson, CA 90747. Art Gallery Location: LaCorte Hall, 1st Floor. Admission is free. There will be Saturday exhibit walk-throughs with Cindy Bendat at the gallery on September 16 at 10:30 a.m. and October 7 at 11 a.m.