Photography: “Look at Me, Talk to Me”
Project Focuses on Those Excluded By Mainstream Media
My work focuses on people of colour because the media fails to represent them. I focused specifically on Black women because I am a Black woman. My theme for this project is, “Look at Me, Talk to Me.”
The title is easy to understand. Some people tend to ignore the fact that Black people are people as well. They pay attention to stereotypes and judge us rather than getting to know us without any prejudice.
My goal is to use my photography to learn about people. I only know my own culture so I want to learn about other people and their ways of life.
Here are what these women have to say about race.
“Race cannot be ignored. It is always the elephant in the room. As a young Black girl, I believed that I was a good person but I would never describe myself to be a beautiful one.
Not because I was told specifically by someone that I was ugly, but it was rather the lack of girls and women in the media that looked like me and that weren’t playing a slave or a crackhead in a movie.
I was living with a deep-rooted insecurity about my skin colour that could not be changed. As I got older I learned to love myself so that I would not have to look for it somewhere else. I know that my skin colour cannot be ‘changed’ or ‘corrected’ because my Black skin is perfect.
Being a young Black dark-skinned woman, I have experienced looking in the mirror as a little girl and not liking what I saw. Now, the girl that once didn’t like what she saw is the woman that loves every inch of herself and the colour that she possesses. Black is beautiful. We are all beautiful no matter the skin colour. It is up to us to realize it and stand with pride.”
—Alivia Lynch, Dawson College Student
“In my opinion, the idea of race being a social construct is simply that: an idea. It was put in place to service the rich and the powerful which is why I also believe that race is a class issue. Meaning that if you are not well-off or a political figure, you won’t get ahead as easily because the system was never meant to benefit you.
That’s why it’s odd to some people when people of colour are proven to be successful because we do not have the advantages that non-people of colour have. We are shown in the media around the world to be less than human when we are all equal simply because we are all human. No ‘race’ of human is better than any other ‘race’ of human.
We are simply different and that’s all.”
—Shakiara Stewart, Dawson College Student
“I feel that race is a man-made concept that was created to divide people. Although we should not be divided, the concept of race cannot be avoided because it has been ingrained into our society. It is important to be educated and talk about race issues so that we each do our parts to overcome this divide and fight against discrimination.”
—Jaya Johan, Concordia University Undergraduate Student