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The Activism and Artistry of Joan E. Biren’s Photography

Her 1979 photobook Eye to Eye: Portraits of Lesbians was the first of its kind and helped lesbians feel seen.

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Episode Notes

This week, host June Thomas talks to the activist photographer Joan E. Biren, also known as JEB. In the interview, JEB discusses the creation, funding, and printing of her 1979 photobook Eye to Eye: Portraits of Lesbians, which was recently reissued by Anthology Editions. She also talks about the enduring legacy of the book and what it meant for lesbians to see themselves accurately represented in her work.

After the interview, June and co-host Isaac Butler reflect on JEB’s ability to create the art she wanted to see in the world.

In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, JEB explains why she doesn’t like words like capture and shoot to describe photography.

Send your questions about creativity and any other feedback to working@slate.com or give us a call at (304) 933-9675.

Podcast production by Cameron Drews.

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Slate interviews Americans about their jobs.

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  • June Thomas is senior managing producer of Slate podcasts.