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Image of two older people in frame
collage of images of buildings in residential neighborhood
reflection of church upside down in a puddle
children's bike tipped over on leafy roadside
grassy alleyway between two buildings
corner of wall with grid of photos
image of large group of people in front of church with black backgorund
indigo sky with image projected on church

I am a photographer and multimedia artist currently preparing whose work and research focus on the experience and construction and the of geography of race, labor and personhood in the American South. My ongoing project, “Gone By The Way of Fat Sam” is a visual and material exploration of Smoketown, Louisville, Kentucky’s oldest Black American neighborhood built by recently emancipated enslaved people in the late 1860s. As I engage the current state of development and gentrification, my research spans Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, redlining practices and waves of immigration past and present.

Artist statement

Political scientist Harold Lasswell defines politics as "Who gets what, when and how.", and Smoketown, Louisville, Kentucky’s oldest Black American neighborhood, is American politics written upon the landscape. “Gone By The Way of Fat Sam” uses photography, archival materials, video, and found art objects to evoke memory and reconstruct time and geography.

Gentrification is a politics of location. Even as striking images of the dismantling of Confederate monuments across the South have received international attention, the steady dismantling of historic Black communities continues unabated.

Gone By The Way of Fat Sam visualizes the process of gentrification and gives form to consider the racial, geographic, and historical context of Black American space. Meaning, like memory, is a construction informed by facts, dialogue, and the stories we tell ourselves about the world around us and our place in it. In my work, I arrange the fragments of time recorded in photographs as assemblages in which images overlap and abut along the edges of temporality. The resulting collage of time, space and images encapsulates the past, present, and future, rendering visible the stark changes in the landscape and is juxtaposed with archival and personal family photos creates complex and subtle layers of meaning of the landscape in the context of human lives, questioning the notions of progress, development, and urban renewal.

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