Amal’s Blanket, 2018 | Adama Delphine Fawundu
Amal’s Blanket, 2018
Archival Pigment on Cotton Rag Paper
20 x 30 inches
Adama Delphine Fawundu is a photographer and visual artist born in Brooklyn, NY to parents from Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea, West Africa. With over fifteen years of experience working as a photographer, Fawundu enhance her studio practice and completed her MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University in 2018. She now uses photography, printmaking, video, sound, and assemblage as an artistic language.
“Adama Delphine Fawundu’s work is about finding ways to connect with her kin – a group not merely confined to those who share a direct common ancestor but an expansive definition inclusive of the many who descend from the dispersed, the stolen, those for whom the violence and opportunity wrought by the sea is at once a spectre and a fact of everyday life,” writes scholar Niama Safia Sandy.
Ms. Fawundu’s works can be found in the private and public collections such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Historical Society, The Norton Museum of Art, Corridor Art Gallery, The David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland and The Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of São Paulo, Brazil.
For My Suns: Inhale Freedom Exhale Life is a work in progress that builds on my practice of
creating new ways of seeing Black and gendered bodies to confront the extreme violence by law
enforcement that Black people in America have been witnessing throughout the history of this
country. As a mother raising three sons in America, the negative stereotypes placed on Black
males have terrorized my conscious, ever since I carried my first son in my womb. I knew that I
would have to raise young men who did not internalize the low-intelligence, hyper-aggressive,
violent, and sexualized stereotypes associated with people who looked like them. The most
devastating thing is that these stereotypes are directly associated with extreme violence
experienced by Black people in America. When the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, was
revealed, my sons then aged 8, 12 and 15 were shocked and terrified. They couldn’t reconcile
how an unarmed 17-year-old, walking home, could end up dead after a confrontation with a
security guard. The succession of police shootings of unarmed victims afterward did not help. I
had to continuously talk to my sons, but I must admit that these events have emotionally scarred
them. I am dismayed by the idea that there is but so much that I can do to teach them to navigate
systematic hate and violent aggression. Perhaps the symbolic notion of the photograph could
shift the way that we see others. If only George Zimmerman could see Trayvon Martin the same
way that those who loved and knew him did. The simple act of doing the mundane, walking
home and eating Skittles would not have cost this 17-year-old his life.
For My Suns: Inhale Freedom Exhale Life is an installation of photographs, monitored and
projected videos. My sons (Amal, Che, and Kofi) are now aged 21, 19 and 15. They are all at
pivotal points in their maleness, entering adulthood and navigating their teen years. They have
grown out of their innocent baby faces and those who have been conditioned to see Black Males
in a stereotypical way may have skewed visions of who they really are.