My work explores a different issue, not apparent to the passing viewer. As a collection, my work answers a question presented by Reverend Michael Eric Dyson, how do we make America great? It seems his answer and mine, share the same goal. To remain inclusive, of all people, is the method to improving, at least at the surface level, tensions in America. All the people I include are not added for some type of campaign, these are people in my community that bring the life and color. Although people may reappear in my work, they do in a unique fashion unerringly. I don’t want to categorize myself as some type of civil leader in these times, however, the responsibility does fall on our generation of individuals to usher in change. The same differences that we fixate on and create division with is the very aspect we should use to unify ourselves. This does require some type of illustrative representation, so as to counteract the media we consume daily. The narratives that the news often portrays, for example, highlights only the issues. In my attempts to photograph individuals, I wish to reverse this. I highlight other things in people, at least through the suggestive nature of my photography. I hope it serves as an aesthetic reminder that we are different people, and that should be embraced. I can only speak to my issues concerning inclusion and tensions in the U.S, but as I want to assure everyone, it hasn’t directly troubled me. I suffer not one iota from the existence of others different to myself; I can strive for more and thrive as a result. A black kid photographing his friends may just be the reminder everyone needs.
As for the space, the photography occupies, I hope it serves as an aesthetic reminder that we are different people, and that should be embraced.

Taken by Christopher Owens

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