Picturing Black Femme and Queer Communities in New York Now

When: Wednesday, March 15, 2023, 6:30pm

This event has passed.

Image Collage from left to right of Naima Green, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Nona Faustine, and Dr. Tanisha C. Ford
Left to Right - Naima Green, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Nona Faustine, Tanisha C. Ford (credits below)

Join New York Now: Home exhibiting artists Naima Green, Nona Faustine, and Laylah Amatullah Barrayn for a conversation about photography as a creative apparatus for shifting dominant narratives, historical representations, and contemporary discourses about Black women, femme and queer folks, families, and communities in New York and beyond. This discussion about the power of critical Black feminist and queer gazes is moderated by Dr. Tanisha C. Ford, Professor of History at CUNY Graduate Center and author of Dressed in Dreams: A Black Girl’s Love Letter to the Power of Fashion (2019).   

Please note: the Museum is closed to the public on Wednesdays, but the New York Now: Home exhibition will be open for viewing before and after the panel for registered guests.

Event Timeline:
5:45 pm -  Museum doors open; New York Now exhibition open for viewing (2nd Floor)
6:30 pm - Panel begins (Marble Court on 2nd Floor)
7:30 pm - Panel ends; New York Now re-opens for viewing
8:20 pm - Gallery closes
8:30 pm - Museum closes

About the Speakers:
Laylah Amatullah Barrayn is a documentary photographer and the co-author of the anthology MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. Documenting for over 20 years, Barrayn’s work is featured frequently in the New York Times, Vogue, National Geographic, and NPR among other publications. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, with solo exhibitions at The Museum of the African Diaspora San Francisco and The Taubman Museum of Art (VA). Her photography is included in Black: A Celebration of a Culture edited by Dr. Deborah Willis, Photography, A Feminist History by Emma Lewis and Streams of Consciousness: Bamako Encounters—African Biennale of Photography edited by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung among other books. In 2018, she was included as one of the Royal Photographic Society’s (UK) Hundred Heroines. She is currently completing a book on contemporary Black photographers.

Nona Faustine is a native New Yorker and award-winning photographer and Public Speaker. Her work focuses on history, identity, representation, evoking a critical and emotional understanding of the past. Faustine's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and published widely. Her much-acclaimed White Shoes series was recently published by MACK Books. Her work is in the collection of the national museums such as the Studio Museum of Harlem, Carnegie Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Lumber Room in Portland Oregon and in 2022 the Museum of Fine Art Houston and the Los Angeles County Museum. Faustine’s work is on view at Colgate University Picker Gallery and upcoming exhibitions 2023 at the Museum of the City of New York, LACMA, and Higher Pictures Generation.

Naima Green is an artist and educator who photographs Black and Queer individuals and communities to document their vibrant relationships to place and pleasure. Green has had solo shows at the Institute of Contemporary Art at VCU, Richmond, VA, International Center of Photography, Baxter Street CCNY, and Fotografiska, all NY. She has exhibited in group shows at Mass MoCA, BRIC, The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the Houston Center for Photography, amongst others. Her work is in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art Library, the International Center of Photography Library, the Leslie-Lohman Museum, and the Hirsch Library at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Green holds a BA in Urban Studies and Sociology from Barnard College, Columbia University, an MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from Bard College, and an MA in Art and Art Education from the Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the Harnish Visiting Artist at Smith College.

Dr. Tanisha C. Ford (moderator) is Professor of History and Biography and Memoir at The Graduate Center, CUNY. She is the author of Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul (UNC Press, 2015), which won the OAH Liberty Legacy Foundation Award for Best Book on Civil Rights History, Dressed in Dreams: A Black Girl’s Love Letter to the Power of Fashion (St. Martin’s, 2019), and Kwame Brathwaite: Black is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019). She is currently writing a new book, Our Secret Society: Mollie Moon and the Money, Glamour, and Power Behind the Civil Rights Movement, which uncovers the secret webs of money, power, and influence that financially bolstered the Civil Rights Movement. The book will be published by Amistad/HarperCollins in fall 2023. She writes regularly for public audiences, with stories in the Atlantic, New York Times, Elle, and Harper's Bazaar, among others. In 2019, Ford was named to The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans list for her innovative, public-facing scholarship. Her research has been supported by institutions including: the Institute for Advanced Study, the Smithsonian Museum of American History, Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Ford Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Ford is currently a New America/Emerson Collective fellow.

Image Credits: Naima Green (Credit Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.), Laylah Amatullah Barrayn (Credit Barnabas Crosby), Nona Faustine (Portrait of Nona Faustine. Grace Roselli, Pandora's BoxX Project), Dr. Tanisha C. Ford (Courtesy, Tanisha Ford).

Event Logistics (subject to changed based on NYC regulations):

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