The Tucson photographer amplifies the voices of the community

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) – Every time a photo is taken, Kathleen Dreier has the opportunity to reinforce the voices of our community.

“I use the camera to honor who it is for who it is,” said Dreier.

When the pandemic hit, she lost her paid photo concerts within a few days and decided to use her time to start several mostly self-financed social media series. Two focus on racing in southern Arizona.

“There was a vigil in Dunbar after the murder of George Floyd [Pavillion]. There were many things that happened at the vigil that sparked something in me that as a 60-year-old woman I had never thought of, ”she said.

Their first racing series is called “Tucson Black Voices”. She shared the portraits of Tucson’s black community on social media and provided stories along with the photos.

It followed with a series called “What Whites Think” in which whites were called to action.

“You have something to say that is of value and in the hope that it will touch a person and that it will change someone’s perspective about something,” she explained.

Dreier said her work was shaped by her three decades as a social worker.

“Almost every part of photography that I do comes from this standpoint of understanding the human condition and my personal needs as a child, and growing up in the things I needed to control my own life. So when I lost all my job again, “she said.

She said it was an honor for people to let them into their space and into their hearts.

“I’ve learned how much I don’t know as a white woman,” said Dreier. “Although I grew up as a single mother, a black son, I am. There is a realization that I still have a lot to do. “

She said that in between all of the series she has done, she has taken portraits of 200 people and is continuing with another series that focuses on the Asia-Pacific islander community.

If you would like to participate in Dreier’s series you can contact them here.


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