Why This Artist Let Her Nude Body Tell The Story of Slave Trading in New York City.
Nona Faustine pays homage to her ancestors in a powerful and public way.
Her photographs are blowing up on Facebook and no one is more surprised than her. Born and raised in Brooklyn, with a distinct city accent, her tone is as light as her work is somber. In the “White Shoes” photo series, Faustine appears in the places where African slaves were bought, sold, and traded in 1620’s New York City. Her expression is solemn, in some photos there is a shackle on one of her limbs, and aside from her shoes, she is completely naked.
As a single mother, Faustine attended the International Center for Photography at Bard College and received her M.F.A. in 2013. Despite feeling as though she didn’t possess the same language and technical skills as her classmates, she forged ahead in her art-making, determined to make them eat the words, “You don’t belong here.” Now that Faustine’s work is steadily gaining recognition she’s finally able to pay homage to her ancestors the best way she knows how: telling their true story and beating the odds.
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