The reImagining Speaks: An Introduction
Have you spoken to a Black woman today? For the majority of TWiB! readers, the answer will of course be yes. Unfortunately, for the majority of the nation, the answer will be no. Yes, the majority of the country may talk AT the Black women that exist in the periphery of their lives, but not many will take the time to look past the stereotypes that lead them to assume that real communication is not possible nor necessary. It is these stereotypes WE plan to battle.
I’ll step back and introduce myself. Hello, my name is Ijeoma D. Iheanacho. I am a Black, female, fine art photographer. A few years ago, I tried my darnedest to watch an episode of 30 Rock to lend support through my Nielsen ratings to a female comedy writer and quickly had to turn off my television in disgust. I stumbled upon the episode in which Sherri Shepherd was playing the overbearing, fake nail wearing, neck snapping wife of the lead character that everyone is supposed to shudder in fear from. Honestly, the fact that it was such a mainstream show written by a woman just doubled my anger. Straw, meet the camel’s back. My photographic career has always focused on exploring the creation and manipulation of identity and how to use these representations to make a political statement. The frustration of not seeing Black women accurately, or even fairly, portrayed by people who speak about us, but not necessarily to us, brought about the reImagining project.
What is the reImagining Project?
WE are the reImagining project: 100 women of African descent who have volunteered to tell their darkest stories. The reImagining is a 300 image photography exhibition depicting women’s journey from the stereotype to the truest version of herself. This blog series will serve as a companion project in support of the exhibition and offers more in-depth analysis of the exhibition.
The reImagining Speaks started out as a fundraising campaign, and quickly became so much more. This project gets by entirely on volunteers and donations. I am SO not independently wealthy and so when I asked the women in the project to volunteer their time and stories, I was blown away by the response! As you can see from Noelle’s video above, each of these conversations opened the door to the strength of each woman’s voice. Each of these conversations speaks for the Black women who have no voice. Each of these conversations MATTER. This blog series will focus on bringing to light these conversations and how the politics of our time can be both challenged and influenced by them.
Stay tuned and raise your voice to help us change the national conversation!
Latest posts by Ijeoma D. Iheanacho (see all)
- The reImagining Speaks: (Black) (Latina) American Woman - July 17, 2013
- The reImagining Speaks: Breadwinning 101 - June 12, 2013
- The reImagining Speaks: Constructing the Phantom Woman - May 15, 2013
Filed Under: Activism, Beating up on Black women once again, beauty, black women, combating stereotypes, dnm, photography, POLITICS, RACE, Racism, Representation, the reImagining, the reImagining Speaks, tw2, twib-ce, visual arts, visual culture