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Research Duo Announces Election Multimedia Project In Oxford

By Julia Peoples
HottyToddy.Com intern

A professor from Iowa and a photographer from San Francisco are spending time in Oxford to explore the national election in 2020 through the lens of Oxford and Mississippi.

Jon Winet, an intermedia professor at the University of Iowa, and Allen Spore, a photographer from San Francisco, are teaming up with Yoknapatawpha Arts Council to begin research for their upcoming documentary, “American Visions – The 2020 Presidential Election.”

Winet has been documenting political events nationwide since 1984, and Spore joined his effort shortly thereafter in 2000.

The duo has paired with the YAC for assistance with the project and is using the Powerhouse and the University of Mississippi as venues for discussing issues with the community.

The pair will follow delegates from Mississippi to national conventions and speak with people in the community about political issues.

Spore lived in Mississippi from 2015-2017, and the political climate during his time here along with the unique cultural history of Mississippi drew the pair to the state for their project.

Winet and Spore have visited Oxford several times in preparation for the project and they hosted a community talk at the Powerhouse Monday night.

Even though the two have been conducting research about the state, they have no concrete expectations for the project. The goal of the project will be to explore these issues as they relate to the national and local elections, but Winet explained that the project has an open design and the two are flexible to follow the issues wherever the citizens lead them.

The duo is working with a variety of collaborating photographers and writers and has documented important political events using photography, text, video, audio and multimedia web-based production.

Documentary photography and video interviews from Lafayette County and the Mississippi delegations at the national conventions will be a vital part of a Fall 2020 multimedia exhibit at the Powerhouse, complemented with public events in collaboration with Oxford civic organizations and the university.

“The project is very much community and process-based,” Winet said. “This is about trying to develop relationships with people at the university and in town to find out what their interests are.”

Winet also explained that voters have a local connection to politics and that if the project reaches anyone and inspires them to become more politically active, it will be a success.

To prepare, the duo has already met with some political organizations on campus and hopes to meet more to gather as many perspectives as possible.

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