A New Jacob Holdt Interview

Jacob Holdt will be speaking Thursday morning at NYPH09. I wish I could be there. NYPH just posted a new interview with him.

I’m not one who likes art because of the “hardcoreness” of the maker, but really folks, this is as hardcore as it gets:

Remember, I came to the USA with only $40. That money lasted for five years due to the American hospitality, but would not have been enough for a camera. The films I financed from selling blood plasma twice weekly paying $5 each time, although I hitchhiked 16 times to the blood bank in New Orleans, where they paid the highest in the nation, $6.10.

I didn’t know anything about the Festival since photography never interested me. Photography was for me only a tool for social change. I was just told that you present me as “historical figure”, which made me laugh since I am extremely well known in Denmark for my present social activism for speaking up for our ghettoized Muslim population in the same way I, for 34 years, have spoken up for the black ghettoes in American universities. My slideshows usually last five to six hours or a whole school day—or in American universities five hours in the evening followed by my racism workshop next day. It is now for the first time digitalized. The first two hours of it can be seen on my website.

I had several offers from American publishers in the ’80s, but realized that none of them had a single black high-level employee. So instead of supporting such of institutionalized racism, I decided to publish my book myself in order to let the people photographed in my book sell it along with the homeless and street people in the ghettos. Soon I had a whole network of homeless, criminals selling my book in many of the big cities as an alternative to selling dope. Although I didn’t make much money, three of my street sellers were killed before they paid me off.

If you make an audio recording of tomorrow’s lecture, please share it. Thanks!

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