In the past few months, it’s been interesting to witness the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement from local outrage related to the murder of George Floyd to a global movement that sparked protests all over the world. The outcry also took over social media platforms and the whole thing left me with mixed feelings.
On one hand, it was beautiful to witness this sudden peak in global awareness about racism, seeing people in all parts of the world realizing (or at least pretending to do so) that systemic racism is a real issue that needs to be addressed.
The social media side of this whole ordeal however left more of a bitter taste in my mouth. It felt like many people were posting, sharing, commenting with the objective of not feeling left out, of being part of a trend and even sometimes to show that they were more righteous or “woke” than others. I was especially bothered by the entire “silence is violence” slogan. Shouldn’t your fight against racism be more about your actions, the way you treat people, the way you generally live your life? As a black man, I feel like everything I do in my day to day life is part of a fight against xenophobia as, whether I like it or not, my actions reflect an image of the greater Black community.
I also felt like the social media fight against racism was trying to fight a good fight in a bad way. At the end of the day, this push for change should really be about how we treat each other and not about supporting a business because it is black owned or trying to erase the past by taking down statues. Now that I am selling my photos, I would want you to buy them because you enjoy them and, not because you feel like it contributes to the fight against racism. Concerning statues of Christopher Colombus for example, instead of trying to pretend like this past never happened we should accept that it took place in different times and use that to educate. We should let them serve as a reminder of what the past was and what the future should be.
Lastly, I also thought that it was a great shame that the world needed to see the brutal killing of a black man on video to truly take notice of the issue that racism is and always has been. But I believe one must always focus on the positive side and I just hope this awareness lasts and doesn’t just fade away like these movements often do.
In June I attended the second Black Lives Matter protest in Barcelona. Like I mentioned before, I was unsure if I should as I did not feel the need to take any particular action in that direction. I thought that I could however document the event, document people from different backgrounds and cultures united for a common cause. It was a really positive experience and the protest event was entirely surrounded with positive energy. I think I would do it again in the future.
I hope you enjoy this photo set and do get in touch with me if you’re interested in purchasing one of them.