Location: Waltham, MA, United States
There isn’t a lot of space for dreaming in an oppressive world, so I use photography as a tool to create worlds where I freely navigate the various facets of my life experience and identity as a black queer woman. In my senior thesis project titled "as our bodies lift up slowly," I weave the viewer between the past and present using archival family photographs, text, collages, environmental portraits, and the use of both grayscale and color. Heavily inspired by Octavia Butler’s novel Kindred, in which the young black protagonist Dana Franklin navigates a shifting timeline to uncover truths about her family lineage, I employ non-linear visual storytelling as a method to arrive at similar discoveries.
I reflect upon my Haitian Catholic upbringing, the effects of generational trauma, and the relationships that have nurtured my growth. As a person who has compartmentalized difficult emotions for most of my life, I’m looking inward at the parts of myself that I previously found unsavory and tried to ignore. I create photographs that speak to and comfort my younger self, and the versions of myself that struggled to carry the weight of having poor mental health and low self-esteem. I offer my newfound sense of security which has come through building a stronger emotional foundation for myself. In revisiting the past and imagining the future, I have created space for myself to heal in the present.