Yall I shot this 20 pgr for the new @bonmagazine, HOME issue. Grateful to Bon for letting me make art about home. Lord knows it ain’t easy for a brown, immigrant girl with no money to get out of the south. And to be able to go back to make art about it, that's some shit.
I will not romanticize the southern experience. Black, brown, and lgbtq folks don’t have the luxury of relying on fantasies of the old south. I’ve seen more confederate flags go up across the south this year than I have in my entire life. Growing up there is not only painful as hell, but equally dangerous for a lot of us. I am personally still trying to heal from that experience. Taking ownership of my southern identity is, in a small way, resistance. Because I was never meant to be from there. This story is for all the folks of color, and the lgbtq folks who call the south home. The south is yours too. And I hope that it serves as an exchange to the rest of the photo community producing fantastical images of the south that reinforce myths of the white southern debutant and the redneck. We have to stop producing work that reinforce our unconscious prejudices.
And if “you are what you eat” it is equally true that to a grave extent we are what we see. - Bell Hooks
Thank you @tess_herbert for styling, @rahimfortune for assisting and casting, and the fam in Austin TX. (This image was not styled by Tess. Sylvania Myers is a sister of the Rappahannock & Ogunquit tribes.)