In celebration of Pride Month, Facebook partners with six photographers sharing stories of Black queer love
The photographers include Dustin Thierry, Clifford Prince King, Derrick Woods-Morrow, Kadar Small, DeLovie Kwagala and Alanna Fields, with work published on Facebook’s Lift Black Voices hub.
- Ayla Angelos
- 22 June 2021
- Reading Time
- 3 minute read
In celebration of Pride Month, Facebook has partnered with a selection of photographers to produce a new photo gallery published on its Lift Black Voices hub – a space that highlights stories from the Black community, along with educational resources and inspiration. The photographers include Dustin Thierry, Clifford Prince King, Derrick Woods-Morrow, Kadar Small, DeLovie Kwagala and Alanna Fields, with each sharing imagery and stories of their experiences as Black queer people.
Kadar, for example, is a New York-based photographer who uses his medium to highlight stories of love and community. “Personally, being both Black and queer is the most powerful feeling,” Kadar says in the release, accompanying intimate imagery from his community. “When we accomplish something as a Black and queer individual, it’s a win for all in our community because we understand that many obstacles were overcome to accomplish a goal. It’s important to capture this intersectionality for the pure fact of showing our existence. It’s essential for our well-being. Creating visuality for the queer community is important because the simple act of documenting the same sex in love and existing helps the next generation not to fear being alone or unseen.”
DeLovie is a photographer, artist and social activist currently based in Kampala. Their work is motived by the “endless experiences with oppression, my silenced thoughts, my fight for freedom and peaceful existence and my denial at the table as a Black queer non-binary being.” They use their platform to speak truths and explore relationships, adding that Pride is a great opportunity to do this, “for the world to see, hear and acknowledge the existence of humans who are bothered because they love in ways that conventional and conservative society says is different because we do not equate love and people to their genitals. Pride is asserting and affirming our existence our love, our rights and our beingness.”
GalleryFacebook: Lift Black Voices. Photography by Kadar Small (Copyright © Kadar Small, 2021)
Dustin, born in the Caribbean island of Curaçao – a former colony of The Netherlands – is known for his work on the Afro-Caribbean diaspora in The Netherlands. Deciding to use Opulence as the project in the gallery, Dustin explains that it’s a series about healing. “I underwent the trauma of losing my brother to suicide,” he says. “Mental health and bullying have both been very important catalysts within this project. As a Black person suffering from severe depression, abuse and detachment of my own Caribbean roots, I knew how it must have been for him to be this lonely and misunderstood. We both identified ourselves as queer and in our conversations, we found solace in that. As he wanted to follow in my footsteps and become a photographer, I felt that it was necessary to expand his journey and voice through Europe with my camera.”
Clifford, an artist based between New York and Los Angeles, uses his camera to document his experiences as a queer Black man. The work presented in the photo gallery is a “visual representation of my life now,” he says in the announcement. “Documenting the everyday, and the people in my life – an archive of my journey one could say. My work is a form of self-expression and evidence of my progress in understanding and validating my sexuality and identity.”
Alanna, based in New York, has selected works that centre around notions of Black queer love “through partnerships, friendships, and self-love through self-acceptance and expression,” she says in the release. While Derrick, based in Chicago, uses the platform to house a project titled American Intimacies, shot in 16 states that make up the American South. “In the project, I am meeting Back folx, and asking them to share their stories, affirming our shared experiences of growing up in the south, filming small vignettes of queer Black communities, dialoguing about sexual health and sex in order to develop a multimedia film installation with audio components, photographs and garments.”
Facebook: Lift Black Voices. Photography by DeLovie Kwagala (Copyright © DeLovie Kwagala, 2021)
About the Author
Ayla was an editorial assistant back in June 2017 and has continued to work with us on a freelance basis. She has spent the last seven years as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.