Featuring: Azariah Baker (b. 2005), Latoya Beecham (b. 2003), Nydia Blas (b. 1981), Jada Bovia ( b. 2005), Imogen Maura Cullen (b. 2016), Adama Delphine Fawundu (b. 1971), Zainab Floyd (b.1997), Kim Hill (b. 1970), Deborah Jack (b. 1970), Hickamutu Leigh (b. 1997), Mariatu Mansaray (b. 2002), Qiana Mestrich (b. 1977), Samaia Nunn (b. 2004), Cyrah Joseph (b. 2005), Stevia Ndoe (b. 2002), Jada Rodriguez (b. 2003), Brianna Sanders (b. 2004), Laila Annmarie Stevens (b. 2001), Shayane Telsaint (b. 2006)
Picturing Black Girlhood: Black Utopia, is an international and intergenerational exhibition that blurs the lines between what is exterior and interior to reclaim the Black outdoors and rethink history and the ways African-Americans have been denied freedom. Through featuring Black women, girls, and genderqueer artists who work in the mediums of photography and have a sustained practice exploring the theme of Black girlhood, this exhibition reveals new visions of identity and collective life. The images made by Black women photographers are placed alongside those made by Black girls. The intentional pairings and groupings of images that appear throughout this show encourage new interpretations of iconic images while retelling the history of contemporary photography through the eyes and experiences of Black girls. The result is a disruption of traditional art world hierarchies and a centering of Black girls as subjects, artists, and agents of their own lives.
Now in its third iteration, Picturing Black Girlhood: Black Utopia how restages intimate Black girl narratives made through the reifying lens of Black women and genderqueer artists and the real-time experiences and perspectives of Black girls themselves while exploring the powerful connections between Black girlhood open space, and the natural world.
Creating idyllic spaces and Black utopias free of racial violence has long been a source of Black artistic innovation and justice movements. The images in Picturing Black Girlhood highlight the ways in which Black girls find liberation, joy, and healing in nature. By showing Black girls in bliss together, these tender moments of leisure, respite, and release represent Black ascendance, innocence, and freedom in its purest form while revealing an innate connection to the outdoors. By centering Black girls and gender-queer youth as the rightful caretakers of land and water, Picturing Black Girlhood challenges mainstream environmentalism’s all-to-often narrow view of stewardship and offers a brighter vision of what it means to care for the planet.
Picturing Black Girlhood: Black Utopia is reflective of our times; these artists offer us intimacy, rest, renewal, connection, and exaltation as answers and aesthetics of freedom. These images and films demand that we witness the full breadth of Black girls and gender-expansive youth on their own terms—and those of the people they will soon become.
In this space, we invite you to take a moment to focus on yourself, relax, and reset while exploring the beautiful, complex, and powerful relationship between Black girlhood, open space, and the natural world.
First appearing at Columbia University in 2016, the first iteration of Picturing Black Girlhood (PBG) primarily featured Black girls in public spaces, thus providing new narratives of safety, dignity, and agency against a backdrop of police violence against unarmed Black people and everyday acts of discrimination.
Six years later, PBG turned more inward while increasing in scale. This international exhibition featured over seventy Black women, girls, and genderqueer artists – ranging in age from 8 to 87 – who work in the mediums of photography and film and are exploring the concept of Black girlhood, and considered Black girlhood as an essential stage of development, an integral moment of political awakening, an embattled site of representation, and a critical source of artistic inspiration in Black communities across the world.
Picturing Black Girlhood is again reflective of our times. In this current moment, longing for reconnection, and racial reckoning, these artists offer up intimacy, rest, renewal, deep connection to place, and exaltation as an answer and alternative freedom. Their images demand that we witness the full breadth of Black girls and gender-expansive youth, on their own terms, and those of the people they will soon become.
Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.
In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.
By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.
Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.
For more information about Photoville visit, www.photoville.com
PICTURING BLACK GIRLHOOD: Black Utopia
Featuring: Various Artists
ON VIEW AT: Container 23View Location Details Download a detailed map of this location Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza
1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
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Picturing Black Girlhood: Black Utopia is curated by Scheherazade Tillet and Zoraida Lopez-Diago.