With Our Eyes Closed
In 2015, I photographed the memorial site for the nine parishioners murdered by Dylan Roof at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Among those killed was the senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney; three victims survived. One of those victims, Felicia Sanders said in a news interview:
“He caught us with our eyes closed. I never told nobody this.” This quote from Felicia Sanders, became the inspiration for this project and set the groundwork for continued work photographing individuals from
groups which are targeted by white supremacist and other racial, religious and ethnic
prejudiced extremist groups. Beginning with the enslavement of Africans and moving
through the struggle for civil rights to the current movement encompassed in Black
I am currently concentrating on the response to instances of violence upon victims of
hate crimes and violence based on ethnic, religious or race differences. Photography to
date encompasses photographing KKK rallies, Black Lives Matter gatherings,
Plantations and the topography of enslavement, and photographs from locations
historically significant to the civil rights movement.
Future photography will include photographing locations of lynching sites and
internment camps in the United States to depict how racial, religious and ethnic
intolerance does not confine itself to acts of isolated individuals but can and has been
used by larger socio-political bodies to disenfranchise individuals from targeted groups.