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What Does Collective Truth Telling Look Like?

AWTT artist Robert Shetterly joins The BET Center’s podcast series “Changed Climate.”

Bryan Stevenson Awtt Portrait

“In this enlightening episode, we explore the notion of collective truth-telling through a poetic introduction and a compelling conversation with Rob Shetterly, the artist behind the portrait series “Americans Who Tell the Truth.” We begin with Lilace Mellin Guignard’s evocative poem “The Great Reimagining,” a heartfelt call to rekindle our imagination and respect for our planet and its intricate ecosystems.”

“Our main conversation features Rob Shetterly, a Maine-based artist and social advocate. Rob opens up about how his portrait series, “Americans Who Tell the Truth,” emerged as a response to feelings of grief, guilt, and alienation during the run-up to the Iraq war. His transformative project now boasts over 200 portraits, each portraying an American truth-teller, from historical figures like Henry David Thoreau to contemporary voices like Bryan Stevenson.

Robin Wall Kimmerer Awtt Portrait

“Shetterly’s insights into environmental justice offer a profound perspective. He discusses the destructive tendencies of modern culture to commodify nature, mentioning examples like mountaintop removal and the importance of organizations like Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association in countering destructive practices. The episode expands on various forms of truth-telling — whether through art, civil disobedience, organization-building, or eloquent writing like Robin Wall Kimmerer’s — and their vital role in establishing a more sustainable and equitable world.”

Listen to the podcast here

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