Washington DC Twosomes & Two Parties - Talking Pairs: Mark Chester and Norm Ornstein

Author Event at Busboys and Poets, 14th & V, November 19, 2013 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM in the Langston Room

Finding common ground.


Un-Gyve Limited 

Oct 17, 2013, 04:13 ET

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In his book of paired photographs, Twosomes, Mark Chester finds commonalities across continents and generations; species and still life; connecting the unlikeliest of people, places, and things, most times making the relationships seem surprisingly natural. These images shot over a span of forty years, sifted and sorted to make 101 pairs, celebrate the exercise of finding common ground.

Cutout Man, New York, 1971 and U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C., 1977 (Copyright Mark Chester) from the book  Twosomes , Un-Gyve Press. (PRNewsFoto/Un-Gyve Limited) ( PRNewsFoto/UN-GYVE LIMITED )

Cutout Man, New York, 1971 and U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C., 1977 (Copyright Mark Chester) from the book Twosomes, Un-Gyve Press. (PRNewsFoto/Un-Gyve Limited) (PRNewsFoto/UN-GYVE LIMITED)

In It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein take on the partisanship and dysfunction of our current Congress where traditions of compromise are not being practiced, risking our system of constitutional democracy. 

Calling on the media and for greater public participation to "focus on the true causes of dysfunction" for "voters to learn to act strategically to reward problem solving and punish obstruction" and identifying a "mismatch" between political parties, likened to the "vehemently adversarial" parliamentary parties, our government, our media, and we the people might also take some direction in addressing the serious subject, and serious danger, facing our American democracy, looking at the lighthearted matchings (mismatches?) in Mark Chester's Twosomes.

Busboys and Poets identifies as "a community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted...a place to take a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body and soul...a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide...we believe that by creating such a space we can inspire social change and begin to transform our community and the world."

An "intentional collision" is scheduled on November 19, with a lofty but lighthearted call to the media, and to the public at large, to see how much fun it can be to function in our great democracy. 

Mark Chester has been a professional photographer since 1972. He was Director of Photography and staff photographer at ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), in New York City. His photographs are in the permanent collections of Baltimore, Brooklyn, Corcoran, Denver, Portland (Maine), and San Francisco museums, among others. Photographs from the touring exhibit and the award-winning book Twosomes (Un-Gyve Press) are now on view at Busboys and Poets and the photographer will be signing copies of Twosomes following the talk. 

Norman Ornstein is a long-time observer of Congress and politics. He is a contributing editor and columnist for National Journal and The Atlantic and is an election eve analyst for BBC News. He served as co-director of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and participates in AEI's Election Watch series. He also served as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Mr. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law, known as McCain-Feingold, that reformed the campaign financing system. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism (Basic Books) is a New York Times bestseller; named as one of 2012's best books on politics by The New Yorker and one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post. It is just out in an expanded and up to date paperback edition and the author will be signing copies following the talk.

The two first connected in 1979 when Norm Ornstein reviewed the book Dateline America in the Washington Post; a collection of Charles Kuralt essays accompanied by Mark Chester'sphotography.

SOURCE Un-Gyve Limited