By posing nude on New York sites once used as slave markets and African burial grounds, Nona Faustine, a Brooklyn-born and -based photographer, explores the relationship of her free body to those who stood there before her.
By Qiana Mestrich at Dodge & Burn:
What (if anything) about your work would you consider “controversial”?
Slavery is controversial. It’s a topic in America we really try hard not to discuss. It makes people uncomfortable. You see the change that comes over their faces when you mention it, and the role it plays in our damaged psyche. Just the fact that I’ve been told not to talk about the inspiration regarding the project tells me all I need to know. There are scars that have not fully healed, and the fallout from that history is still with us. The other controversy I would say is my fat, Black, naked, female body on display. People often don’t like seeing that because it conjures up a lot of emotional baggage for some. The two topics together omit the work in certain circles.
This story was originally published on November 3rd, 2014.