- Farrah Rahaman and Tshay Williams
- Annenberg School for Communication, School of Arts & Sciences
- 2020 Black Artists Support Grant
WITNESS is a joint undertaking of curator Tshay Williams (SAS’17) and producer Farrah Rahaman (Annenberg, PhD) which proposes a public art portrait series as a means of attending to racial injustice in our cityscape. This project is not only a corrective balm to historic injury, it is a world-making claim to the right of life, imagination and joyous expression amidst simultaneous anti-Black public health crises. Moving beyond the sheer politics of visibility, WITNESS is about inscribing a sense of place and belonging by wheat pasting 30 portraits, shot by Black Philly-based photographers in various public and community spaces across the rapidly gentrifying city. We will work with local businesses, arts centers, restaurants and even residences to place the images. These images, stemming from our artist friends and frequent collaborators, are uplifting portraits of children, adults, and elders from Philadelphia’s Black communities. These folks include Rashid Zakat, Naomieh Jovin, Lendl Tellington, Shanel Edwards and Ociele Hawkins. Each photo is composed with the motif “Our victory is inevitable. Our glory is undeniable.” The city must respond to us, as we are those who built it and we are the ones it systemically abandons.
- 2020 Black Artists Support
- Annenberg School for Communication
- Making Art Grant
- School of Arts & Sciences