Southern Rites

Southern Rites
Gillian Laub

October 25 – December 15*, 2018

Reception: Thursday, October 25, 5:00-7:00
Artist Talk: Thursday, October 25, 7:00-8:00

(Forum, Elizabeth Phillips Academy Center)

*Lamont Gallery will be closed November 21-23 for Thanksgiving Break


In Southern Rites, Gillian Laub engages her skills as a photographer, filmmaker, storyteller, and visual activist to examine the realities of racism and raise questions that are simultaneously painful and essential to understanding the American consciousness. Through her lens and the voices of her subjects we encounter that which some of us do not want to witness, but what is vital for us to see. Southern Rites is a specific story about young people in the twenty-first century from the American South, but it poses a universal question about human experience: can a new generation liberate itself from a harrowing and traumatic past to create a different future?

Gillian Laub has spent the last two decades investigating political conflicts, exploring family relationships, and challenging assumptions about cultural identity. Her work frequently addresses the experiences of adolescents and young adults in transition who struggle to understand their present moment and collective past. 


Laub directed an HBO Documentary Film in 2015 – also titled Southern Rites – that was produced with musician John Legend. This film, follows a generation of high school students as they transition from adolescence to adulthood, grapple with the legacy of segregation, and fight for equality.

Additional Resources:

Southern Rites Website

Gillian Laub’s Website

Times Talks, NY Times Interview about the Southern Rites documentary with Gillian Laub and John Legend

Amy Poehler Smart Girls: Interview with Gillian Laub

Articles about Southern Rites at Exeter

"Gillian Laub’s Provocative 'Southern Rights' Exhibition Begins Tour This Fall", Artfix Daily, August 2018
“Gillian Laub: Pioneering Southern Rites at Lamont”, Artscope Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018

“Photography Takes Students Beyond Black and White”, Exeter Bulletin, Winter 2019

"Inspiring Conversation by Showcasing Concerned Photography”, Exeter Bulletin, Winter 2019



Southern Rites is organized by the International Center of Photography, New York.

Lamont Gallery showing of Southern Rites is supported by Marina and Andrew E. Lewin ’77; P’07, P’10.  

Lamont Gallery programs are supported in part by the Michael C. Rockefeller ’56 Visiting Artists Fund.  




Image Credits:
Top: Postcard image includes clockwise from top:  Julie and Bubba, Mount Vernon, Georgia, 2002, Inkjet Print.  Amber and Reggie, Mount Vernon, Georgia, 2011, Inkjet Print.  Sha’von, Justin, and Santa, Mount Vernon, Georgia, 2012, Inkjet Print.

Center: Prom prince and princess dancing at the integrated prom, Lyons, Georgia, 2011, Inkjet Print.
Bottom: Lacy, the black prom queen, Mount Vernon, Georgia, 2008. Inkjet Print.

All images are copyright by Gillian Laub and provided courtesy of Benrubi Gallery