Joan E. Biren in Conversation with Library Director Diane Kresh
An Arlington Reads Signature Author Event.
Joan E. Biren is an internationally recognized documentary artist and activist. She began to chronicle the lives of LGBTQ+ people in 1971, publishing groundbreaking books and making award-winning films. JEB, now in her 70s, lives surrounded by chosen family and frequently tries to retire from photography and filmmaking. Her plan is never to retire from social justice activism. JEB will discussed the reissue of her iconic book of photography, "Eye to Eye: Portraits of Lesbians", published March 23, 2021 by Anthology Editions.
In 1979, JEB (Joan E. Biren) self-published her first book, "Eye to Eye: Portraits of Lesbians". In a work that was revolutionary for its era, JEB made photographs of lesbians from different ages and backgrounds in their everyday lives—working, playing, raising families, and striving to remake their worlds. The photographs were accompanied by writings from acclaimed authors including Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Joan Nestle, and others. Various women pictured in the book also shared their personal stories. "Eye to Eye" signaled a radical new way of seeing—moving lesbian lives from the margins to the center, and reversing a history of invisibility. More than just a book, it was an affirmation of the existence of lesbians that helped to propel a political movement. Reprinted for the first time in forty years, "Eye to Eye" is a faithful reproduction of a work that still resonates today. This edition features additional essays from artist and writer Tee Corinne, former World Cup soccer player Lori Lindsey, and photographer Lola Flash.
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This Arlington Reads event is a celebration of Pride Month in June. This event is co-sponsored by OUTstanding. OUTstanding's goal is to promote a work environment and culture that is inclusive and affirming of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified employees of Arlington County Government.