I thought that we have evolved as a nation, but apparently, every time we think we’re evolving, we get knocked right back down by stereotypes.
Sonya - Irvine, CA
From director and photographer, Mark Leibowitz comes a two year introspective and personal exploration pointedly examining the stereotypes we place on each other, how they affect us, and their external and internal social ramifications.
Artistically, Leibowitz blends candid and stark photography with powerful storytelling designed for consumption on today’s most popular media platform and format, Instagram. See below as Stereotypes first asks audiences to judge others based on their face, then with the added context of their clothing and body image, and then finally amid their environment.
The world views me as a threat because anyone who threatens the status quo, ask questions, tells the stories of those who are unheard, or who have been silenced historically, threatens the idea of oppression continuing. I'm a freedom fighter and that's scary to a lot of people.
BLAIR - New york, NY
Our culture and our generation is, to me, one of the most accepting and forward thinking and we're in a time where we want to learn more about people… Are you willing to change so that we can eliminate stereotypes?
Harper - Houston, TX
Every ethnicity needs to participate in our decision making in our country, not just one race. It's unfair. But we have to start somewhere. And if we don't start somewhere, we're going to continue to have problems. We're going to continue to have bad racism, the hate crimes, the white people against the black people, the white people against the Mexicans. Everyone can live here if everyone would just respect and love each other. That's the key, respect.
sonya - irvine, ca
I’m bisexual, always been. When I was a kid I looked like a little girl. I was judged.
Rusty - Hollywood, CA
The world views me as former military, I view myself as pro military and a patriot.
SCOTT - Hollywood, CA
If I were president, I would, instead of trying to block people out, I would celebrate the fact that these United States is this melting pot, is this wonderfully, vibrantly cultural place.
Kim Rose - eL MONTE, CA
About the Project
The Stereotypes project began just prior to the 2016 election when I noticed myself stereotyping people who I disagreed with politically. I found the discourse in our country reaching a new level of hatred and massive lack of understanding. To initially shape the project, I reached out to Michelle Elam, the former Director of African & African American Studies, who is affiliated with the Program in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Stanford University. She provided some direction and reading for me to begin this journey.
As part of this project, I posted numerous Craigslist ads asking to photograph and film a diverse range of people in California, Texas, New York, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
To me, the ad I posted asking to interview Trump supporters and the response it received, showcases the hatred and animosity flowing in all directions through our country today, playing into one point of this project - that stereotypes often blind us people’s character, beliefs and intentions.
ORIGINAL CRAIGSLIST AD FOR THE STEREOTYPE PROJECT:
Looking for Trump Supporters who unfairly get stereotyped (Washington DC). Do you get stereotyped as a Trump supporter in DC? I am a photographer and filmmaker who is traveling the US to document how people are stereotyped and what we can do as Americans to reduce judgements and better listen to each other. The shoots will involve capturing a series of still photographs and then filming a short video interview of you.
ACTUAL CRAIGSLIST RESPONSE:
The response on Craigslist continued, “And that isn’t a stereotype or an exaggeration to any extent. Go ahead and make a film about your white fragility and supremacy. Because for some dumb fucking reason you think stereotypes are hurting Trump supporters the most when literally every other race, religion or ethnicity is being mass murdered and corrupted for the same fucking stereotypes you place on them. No one cares how offended some Trump supporter gets from being called a redneck while there are black people being shot by white cops - for no fucking reason, and Muslims being brutally attacked by white nationalists - for no fucking reason.“