Bell Hooks expresses her observation on how the technology of a camera increased her awareness on the importance of visual documentation in spaces of those who experience blackness.
I consider image making in this contemporary time and I reflect on the amount of people who experience blackness and their aggressive desire to not only develop, but increase their digital footprint with videos and photos. With an understanding of erasure and disbelief, images have been used to not only document historical ancestry, but as a tool for those who do not believe in our existence- our human existence.
Hooks mentions a struggle for representation- I too, see the advocacy for “good” representation- countered with “bad” and the trivial discourse that I find myself participating in as well. Ultimately, true-life or the imagination of blackness has always found a way to become saturated by the “white imagination” which actively decides to reel back and maintain the foundation of imposed frameworks: not limited to archetypes and grotesque projections.
Sometimes, I feel as though the digital space many of us occupy, has become so contorted, that the idea of granting radical difference to self and acknowledging the complexity of “black life,” is dismissed for the fantastical, or for the lack of innovation in the “reel”. Critical consideration I believe is needed in order to reflect on moments that bring many of us back to times where images occupied spaces in intimate settings that lent themselves to storytelling.
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