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“Black Matrilineage, Photography, and Representation” Book Talk & Discussion

October 14, 2023 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm EDT

Join us for a conversation around the book Black Matrilineage, Photography, and Representation, edited by Lesly Deschler Canossi and Zoraida Lopez-Diago, the duo that makes up Women Picturing Revolution. They will present their book before a discussion with local photographer and doula Jayana LaFountaine and ending with a Q&A with the audience.

5:00pm-6:00pm: Join Jayana LaFountaine for a photography-based workshop around our identities and lineage in Who’s On Your Face?

6:00pm-7:00pm: Community Meal

7:00pm-9:00pm: A discussion around Black motherhood and representations of it in photography, centered around the book Black Matrilineage, Photography, and Representation

About the book:

Black Matrilineage, Photography, and Representation questions how the Black female body, specifically the Black maternal body, navigates interlocking structures that place a false narrative on her body and that of her maternal ancestors. Drawing on a wide range of scholarly inquiry and contemporary art, this book addresses these misconceptions and fills in the gaps that exist in the photographic representation of Black motherhood, mothering, and mutual care within Black communities.

The essays and interviews, paired with a curated selection of images, address the complicated relationship between Blackness and photography and in particular its gendered dimension, its relationship to health, sexuality, and digital culture – primarily in the context of racialized heteronormativity. This collection, then, challenges racist images and discourses, both historically and in its persistence in contemporary society, while reclaiming the innate brilliance of Black women through personal stories, history, political acts, connections to place, moments of pleasure, and communal celebration.

This visual exploration of Black motherhood through pictures made by Black woman–identifying photographers thus serves as a reflection of the past and a portal to the future and contributes to recent scholarship on the complexity of Black life and Black joy.

Photography, revolution, representation. Through leading seminars, curating panels, and consulting services, Women Picturing Revolution (WPR) co-creators Lesly Deschler Canossi and Zoraida Lopez-Diago are reclaiming and retelling history in a manner that is both radical and necessary. By highlighting the work of woman photographers who have documented conflicts, crises, and revolutions in private realms and public spaces, WPR sheds light on personal and political experiences that are often overlooked or underrepresented. From images made as a response to forced silence, oppression, and the inability to act, to well-known visual journalists documenting upheaval, Lesly and Zoraida, along with WPR participants, examine not only the photographs but also the conditions under which women make images.

Jayana LaFountaine is an Afro-Latina portrait photographer and birth Doula based in Troy, New York. Her work focuses on vulnerability and the preservation of legacy through photo documentation and birth work. As a former foster youth with an adverse childhood she understands the importance of creating strong familial connections through this work. She does this work with Black and Brown folks at the forefront. Photography is a means for her to heal while creating a better reality outside of abuse and trauma. Birth work is her birth right as she is a 4th generation birthworker. 


Jayana LaFountaine, Zoraida Lopez-Diago, and Lesly Deschler Canossi sit on stage at The Sanctuary for Independent Media with microphones with a red stage curtain in the background. Audience members can be seen in silhouette in the left and right foreground.
Jayana LaFountaine, an Afro-Latina photographer and doula, stands behind a podium at The Sanctuary for Independent Media with a photo slideshow depicting photos of her family projected behind
Lesly Deschler Canossi and Zoraida Lopez-Diago of Women Picturing Revolution stand behind the podium at The Sanctuary. An image from their book, 'Black Matrilineal, Photography, and Representation' is projected on the screen behind them.
A photo of the seated lower bodies of Jayana LaFountaine, holding the book "Black Matrilineal Photography and Representation" and Zoraida Lopez-Diago with a book in her lap.
a photo of Jayana LaFountaine, Zoraida Lopez-Diago, and Lesly Deschler Canossi seated on stage at The Sanctuary for Independent Media, speaking into microphones.
$10 Suggested donation
3361 6th Ave
Troy, 12180 United States
View Venue Website

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