How to be Free, is a response to open season on black bodies and the mass consumption of Black Death in media. I wanted to create a space for us to de-stress visually and provide visual examples of freedom, of vulnerability.
These images were shot in Salvador, Brazil and feature a subject who never makes eye contact with the camera, the gaze reflected downward or eyes closed completely shutting out the world. This peaceful rebellion is necessary for staying sane in a chaotic world.
Shot on the beaches of Salvador the first capital of Brazil and home to the largest population of African people outside of Nigeria the importance of water is apparent. The site of our trauma as Africans in America is found on the waters edge; we came here over the water, stolen, water devastated our homes, Katrina, and clean water is a privilege only the rich and white can afford, Flint, Michigan.
The subject comes face to face with trauma and soothes his wounds through meditative thoughts and dreams of a brighter future. But, until the day comes when we are all free we must continue to survive and heal ourselves.