During the school year of 2015-16 I was teaching digital photography at the Success Academy middle school in Central Harlem, as part of a teaching artist residency, on behalf of Abrons Art center.
During the year, our class was assigned a pleasant young new teacher from the staff, as a teaching assistant. His name was Mr. Rizzo.
These are a curated selections from the hundreds of photos taken in the class weekly, moments when the students, outside of class assignments, being “off task” have pointed the camera at Mr. Rizzo from their own perspectives. The gaze back at the common authority figure creates a reversal of authority, the camera interjects it’s power upon the regular order within the classroom, sometimes exposing Mr. Rizzo's humanity, sometimes empowering the students and even reversing the normal teacher and student hierarchy.