Indiana Alumni Magazine
Professor of Fine Arts
School of Fine Arts
Professor of Physics and Chairperson
Department of Physics
Henry H. H. Remak
Professor Emeritus of Germanic Studies, Comparative Literature, and West European Studies
Director of Radio and Television
Office for Public Affairs and Governmental Relations
Professor of Journalism
School of Journalism
The photographs assembled here are from High Risk, Like It Is, and Like It Is, Too, three documentary portrait projects that Research & Creative Activity photographer Tyagan Miller produced between fall 1992 and spring 1996. The subjects are teenagers who have been expelled or otherwise removed for disciplinary reasons from the Indianapolis public school system. As such, they became eligible to attend New Beginnings High School, Roberts Academy, or Horizon Middle School, the alternative schools of the Indianapolis public school system that are devoted to meeting the special needs of these high-risk students.
The term "high risk" refers, here, to students whose academic and behavioral problems at school are both chronic and critical. Rarely is this the result of the students' intellects. Rather, beneath these symptoms of failure lie social, familial, and personal issues that leave these teenagers in danger of dropping out of school and thus predisposing them to lifelong experiences of deprivation, alienation, crime, and violence. "I see these photographs as portraits of irony," Miller says. "On the one hand, they describe young people who are at high risk of slipping through the gaps in our social support networks. On the other hand, they record the faces of survivors."
Photographs from High Risk have been exhibited at the Waldron Arts Center in Bloomington and the IUB School of Education. Portions of the project have been published in Indiana Review (spring 1996) and in Journal: The Magazine of the Indiana School Boards Association (spring 1995). The work is funded in part by the Indiana Arts Commision.
Cover photos and inside photos, pp. 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12, 15, 17, 20, and 24-26 by Tyagan Miller; photo of Patricia Washington, p. 8, courtesy of Bruce Harlan; photo of William Bailey, p. 16, courtesy of Photographic Services.
About the Contributors
Susan Moke is a doctoral candidate in the English department at Indiana University Bloomington. She is editor of the Majority Report, a publication of Indiana University's Office for Women's Affairs, and a writer for the Center for Reading and Language Studies. She also teaches in the Division of Extended Studies.
Susan G. Tomlinson is vice president for marketing at Grayson Bernard Publishers. She serves as a board member and treasurer of the Community Service Council of Bloomington and Monroe County. She also plays violin in the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra.
Miriam Fitting is a doctoral student in comparative literature specializing in Central Europe. This interest is taking her to Prague, Czechoslovakia, for the next few years where she will pursue her career in as many kinds of writing and translation as possible: academic, fiction, poetry, and magazine.
Julie M. Thompson, a doctoral candidate in speech communication at Indiana University Bloomington, currently resides in San Francisco. She enjoys jazz, poststructuralist theory, and cooking with flair.
Todd Avery is a graduate student in English at Indiana University Bloomington.
Michelle Branigan is the assistant director of the Collins Living-Learning Center at Indiana University Bloomington. When her son is asleep, she works on her dissertation in folklore on the American artist Frances Brand.
Lucianne Englert is public relations/marketing director for the Indiana University School of Business's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She also runs a freelance writing/marketing consulting business called Englert Marketing Communication (E=mc2).
Mary Hrovat works for the Indiana University Libraries and does freelance writing, mostly about science. She holds a bachelor's degree from Indiana University in astrophysics and has completed course work in the School of Library and Information Science.