So eager are we to rid ourselves of this year 2020,
some of us are already laying plans for humanity in 2021.
“I really hope that we can put together the things that we have seen and the lessons that we have learned and work together so that we can achieve justice and equality for all,” says photographer Martha Cooper in this new video for “The New Humanity”, an art project by Lavazza for 2021.
The video, shot by BSA’s Editor of Photography Jaime Rojo, follows Martha as she shows us the new project that she took on in response to being cooped up in her apartment this year.
Shooting regularly out of her Upper West Side apartment window Martha captured thousands of people passing by a particular bench that she has officially adopted. The text on the placard is a joint effort by Cooper and Steve Harrington, the Editor in Chief of BSA, who proposed a few options for it at Martha’s request in the summer of 2018.
Ultimately, she liked Steve’s “writer’s bench” idea, since it is a graffiti term and Martha’s well regarded for her preservation of graffiti culture history with her photography. Together they tailored her selection to its current form on a plaque which many New Yorkers have strolled in front of, sat upon, eaten lunch next to, and spent peaceful summer moments of golden slumber beneath.
“A writer’s bench of my own, a place to plan more adventures as I gaze upward to the windows of this captivating city.”
In “The New Humanity 2021” calendar 13 photographers present their take on a possible vision the theme, each expressing their personal viewpoints and styles. Included along with Cooper are David LaChapelle, Simone Bramante, Martin Schoeller, Ami Vitale, Christy Lee Rogers, Steve McCurry, Joey L., Carolyn Drake, Denis Rouvre, Eugenio Recuenco, Charlie Davoli, and TOILETPAPER.
Alongside and in addition, there are 6 cultural “ambassadors” in the campaign – our personal favorite is true New York activist, performer, and poet Patti Smith. Don’t miss her performance of “Because the Night” that will send chills down your spine.
To see more about Martha and the whole campaign, check out
An overview of the New Humanity 2021 / Lavazza Calendar.
80 years ago the great actor and philosopher Charlie Chaplin delivered a “Final Speech” in the movie The Great Dictator. The words are so appropriate to our time that the speech could have been written today, as we slip into the Greater Depression and a rise of fascism in many corners of the world. We only hope we will find and retain our humanity again.
Editor note: Lavazza is not an advertiser with BSA, although Jaime did enjoy shooting video of Martha for her contribution to their campaign.