a young women leaning against a hedge with her arms raised

Get It and Come Back

24 Jul 2019 EMERGI-CUBES
an older woman dressed in a black bathing suit with a pink, brown and beige headdress

Featuring: Kierra D. Branker

Presented by:

United Photo Industries EMERGI-CUBE Program


Curated by:
James Estrin and David Gonzalez, Co-Editors of the New York Times Lens Blog


Kierra Branker fabricates extended representations of Blackness in American culture through her creation of portraits and still lifes. Born in America into Trinidadian lineage, Branker is aware of the innate complexity within a bicultural identity. In this space, two different customs can be dissimilar, yet speak to one another.

Her primary interest draws upon the objects that ground one’s sense of self and their perception of community. In her work she questions: “what visual artifacts or markers are valued within the Afro-Caribbean diaspora?” Furthermore, “how is the value of these items translated over time and passed on locally or regionally, and in what way are these values connected to a collective black culture?” Following the direction of those questions, she explores the relationship between object and body, focusing on how this relationship is activated by personal history, gesture, and ritual.

Utilizing photographic techniques, she establishes focus on her Afro-Caribbean diaspora friends and family. She translates their stories through her work by assembling intimate realities that parallel the experience of an overseas heritage from a distant home. Branker strives to create discussions around the plurality of black identity in contemporary art.

Make sure to also check out related EMERGI-CUBES Walking Tour with James Estrin.


Kierra Branker is a photographer and artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She has recently graduated from Parsons School of Design, receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography.

Living in a Trinidadian-American household, Branker has always noticed the gaps and connections between the two cultures. Motivated by the cultural markers that help to formulate self-identity, her goal is to create works that reflect the shared heritage of the African Diaspora. Her two most recent shows include Paradice Palase’s Summer Open Call for which she received a juror’s award, and the Parsons Photography BFA Thesis Exhibition. Kierra was awarded a Dean’s scholarship while at Parsons.

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