Artist Statement: The Harvest, is a photography series that I created as a visual ode to Black men. We are in a time when unarmed Black men are being slaughtered on camera, and little Black boys are being taught how to respond to their aggressors before even learning how to ride a bike. And I can’t help but question why these realities are so normalized in our society. So, this series explores the identities of Black men through a decolonized lens, and the relationship that that creates between the subject and the viewer. By using a 4x5 large format camera and black and white film, I’m able to photograph my friends while removing elements that have been historically used to misrepresent Black men in the media. This practice is a way of cancelling out the noise, to explore the rawness behind each photograph. There is no room for biases, fixed narratives or preconceived notions. Just liberation in the silence that is created. In this long-lasting season of the criminalization and dehumanization of Black people in this country, I want this piece to serve as a reminder to my brothers--You are the fruit of seeds past generations have sown into the grounds of this bitter Earth. You are rich and you are evergreen.
Rights held by author.
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Tifase, Jessica , “The Harvest,” MU Libraries Digital Exhibits and Online Forums, accessed March 3, 2024, https://library.missouri.edu/exhibits/items/show/58.