"As someone who identifies himself as an African man, I try to show that pride in my work. I also try to show the importance of freedom. That another person’s perception or fear of your Blackness should in no way be limiting you from being who you feel in your heart you are.
You can dress how you’d like, or undress how you’d like. Your good times should be celebrated and your down times should be embraced. I want my work to be an example for the developing youth. So that they too can see representation of themselves that isn’t one-dimensional.
I feel blessed to have the mentality that I am an African artist. I see the world differently. And this mentality is rooted in having the desire to know where I come from. Let’s give Black kids that same desire.”
Circa no future explores fearlessness and the present moment. Since moving back to St Vincent in 2013, I’d wanted to work with boys on the island, to find ways to document their positive experiences through images. I was fascinated by the interaction between these teenage boys, away from adult supervision. There is a sense of camaraderie when they swim out and explore the sea together.
I started recognizing myself in these boys, jumping off boats, and the two rock islands off the beach I grew up on. I spent a lot of my adolescence jumping off of these islands too, so I felt an instant connection to their experience. I was particularly interested in documenting the form of their bodies underwater, and again when they are climbing back up onto the rock. In these moments, they are less aware of the camera.
I believe there has been a lack of positive representation of the black male body in the Caribbean sea. I wanted to create a body of work to play a part in shifting this dynamic. These are all teenage boys who spend their weekends bonding with one another at the beach, fishing and just enjoying their youth. I felt it important to capture these free, fearless, companionable moments in these boys’ lives.