Abstract

"Because the Sun Hath Looked Upon Me" is a photographic project examining identity construction on an individual, society, and cosmological level. It is a response to racial limitations and judgements thrust upon the African diaspora. I reimagine my identity through Afrofuturism by intersecting cosmology, philosophy, and spirituality. Using digital technology, I composite photographs to create new landscapes and self-portraits. The landscapes are my vision of the promised land; the ground references the physical world, the sky becomes a canvas for projection and imagination, and the horizon acts as a symbol for the liminal space between the physical and ethereal. The portraits introduce a new way to envision my Black identity through the power of the universe. The theoretical concept of “liquid blackness” allows Blackness to be as fluid and unbounded as the cosmos. I construct a space where Blackness is immanent and expansive, using the Yoruba cosmological concept of ase and connecting it to the idea of dark matter; the force that holds the universe together. I look beyond the separation and limitation that occurs in racial stereotyping, positing that identity is more complex than just our physical representation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Photography, Artistic; Photomontage; African Americans--Race identity; African diaspora in art

Publication Date

4-23-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Student Type

Graduate

Degree Name

Photography and Related Media (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CAD)

Advisor

Joshua Thorson

Advisor/Committee Member

Willie Osterman

Advisor/Committee Member

Angela Kelly

Campus

RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes

IMGART-MFA

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