Freetown, Free, Because You Always Were, 2019 | Adama Delphine Fawundu
Freetown, Free, Because You Always Were
For My Suns: Inhale Freedom Exhale Life
HD Video, 6:23
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 enhances 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 specter 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. In this series, I 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 hyper-sexualized stereotypes associated with people who looked like them. The most devastating thing is that these stereotypes are directly associated with the extreme violence experienced by Black people in America.
With this experimental video, Freetown, Free, Because You Always Were, I juxtapose the words of James Baldwin from his 1979 speech at the University of California, against my sons Amal 14, Che 11, and Kofi 7, playing freely on the beach in Sierra Leone, West Africa in 2011.
I’m interested in interrogating the idea of freedom in the simplicity of being, freedom in joy, and freedom in the mundane.