Chester Higgins

 

 

Chester Higgins: New York Times Photographer.

The series has been established by Omar Sangare, Chair and Professor of Theatre.
This event was made possible, in part, thanks to Professor Dorothy Wang, Chair of the American Studies at Williams and
the Oakley Center for Humanities & Social Sciences.

In the first meeting of “The Green Room” series, an initiative created by Williams Theatre Department Chair Omar Sangare, Chester Higgins engaged with Williams students and faculty on his life’s work and philosophies. Mr. Higgins has worked as a renowned photographer for the New York Times, building up a renowned career and stunning portfolio over three decades. His photographs have been exhibited by major museums around the world and in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), The Schomburg Collection of the New York Public Library, and The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. Mr. Higgins has published seven thematic book collections, including “Elder Grace: The Nobility of Aging” with foreword by Dr. Maya Angelou, “Echo of the Spirit: A Photographer’s Journey” and “Ancient Nubia: African Kingdoms of the Nile.” Mr. Higgins brought his wealth of knowledge as a photographer and writer to share with the Williams community and highlighted how he was able to use his work to bring attention to cultures and history little-known around the world.

Mr. Higgins shared his series of rich photographs illustrating the nuanced cultures of different groups such as the Egyptians and the Nubians with the presentation as a whole centering on the idea of the Sacred Nile. He demonstrated how we can expand our knowledge and craft as performers to consider facial expressions, body language, and costumes that span multiple cultures and different eras. In doing so, we can endeavor to create lively performances and spark dialogues over topics that may otherwise not receive the attention they deserve. Mr. Higgins’ work is a reminder that there is a wealth of material, stories, and settings spanning across cultures and continents for performers to incorporate into their scenes. Moreover, his work highlighting a variety of beliefs – all peacefully coexisting together – serves as a staunch reminder of the importance of tolerance, acceptance, and mutual respect in all aspects of our lives today.

-William Titus ’23 and True Pham ’23

Chester Higgins has been working for The New York Times as a staff photographer for over 38 years. His photographs have been exhibited by major museums around the world and are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), The Schomburg Collection of the New York Public Library, The Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, and The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. Mr. Higgins has published seven thematic book collections, including “Elder Grace: The Nobility of Aging” with forward by Dr. Maya Angelou, “Echo of the Spirit: A Photographer’s Journey” and “Ancient Nubia: African Kingdoms of the Nile,” among others. More at chesterhiggins.com