Bulletin News

Class Looks at Poverty Using Instagram


A SUNY Cortland communication studies class will offer its interpretation of poverty in Cortland County with a gallery of mobile photography on Thursday, April 26, at the Blue Frog Café and Music Club in downtown Cortland.

The event, which takes place from 3 to 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public, features a new Insta-ACT (Active Community Transformation) photo gallery project. The project’s purpose is to raise awareness through innovation.

"More than anything, we're trying to create a narrative of hope," said Caroline Kaltefleiter, an associate professor of communication studies who teaches the course. "This isn't meant to be a gloomy talk about poverty; we're trying to do something constructive."

Students in the New Communication Media course snapped images that they felt represented Cortland County’s current economic situation. The students used Instagram, a popular mobile photography application for smartphones, to gather photos.

“Mobile apps have a widespread reach that doesn’t get torn off the walls like overlooked flyers do,” Kaltefleiter said. “By using Instagram as our platform, we are able to generate captivating images that are spread by the users to varying platforms. We find images, put them through a filter and then the viewer spreads the message.”

The class also plans to create a documentary and large-scale printings of selected images that will be displayed during the gallery event.

“For too long, the unbreakable spirit of the Cortland community has been overshadowed by the economic crisis,” an event poster reads. “Action must be taken, and the time is now. Together, we can spark a transformation.”

The Blue Frog Café and Music Club is located at 64 Main St., near the intersection of West Court Street and Main Street.

For more information, contact Kaltefleiter at (607) 753-4203.