“If you had no fear, no barriers, who would you be?” This question is the core inspiration for a new art and culture exhibit opening this January 12 at Praz-Delavallade Gallery. Concepted by THE WORK, a storytelling and innovation group whose focus is on creating initiatives that shape culture through social impact, FUTURE WITHOUT FEAR explores the hopes and dreams of young people from underrepresented communities in America and beyond.
“The young people of this generation are burdened by negativity and a lack of access to resources to have the space and opportunity to dream about their future,” explains Rob English, co-founder and CEO, THE WORK. “FUTURE WITHOUT FEAR is our ‘hope bomb’ to create cultural change through the amplification of underrepresented voices. This exhibit is meant to be a catalyst for meaningful conversations that start to break down barriers and allow visitors to visualize a future that is not defined by fear.”
Incorporating photography, video, and print storytelling, the exhibit will be the first in an evolving array of events and experiences, from art shows to educational platforms – each highlighting the voices of a new generation of youth facing seemingly overwhelming obstacles. For this premier FUTURE WITHOUT FEAR gallery exhibit, THE WORK engaged six artists, Kennedi Carter, Naima Green, Abdi Ibrahim, Clifford Prince King, Doug Segars, and Magdalena Wosinska – asking each to create intimate, emotional imagery focused on community and the collective human experience, with their subjects chosen to reflect the primary ethos of a “future without fear.”
The result is a riveting series of portraits, interviews, and films documenting uniquely fearless and indomitably optimistic communities of young people from diverse walks of life – from LGBTQ+ artists in New Orleans, to outsider skate crews on the streets of downtown Los Angeles to teen-age jockeys on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, competing in off-track races through the rugged bush.
About to become a mother herself, photographer Kennedi Carter, known for her imagery documenting the Black Experience, was inspired to create – “a series of portraits exploring the imagery surrounding Black motherhood, lineage, & family lore passed through generations.” Photographer Clifford Prince King, created for the exhibit – “documentation of my own intimate relationships in traditional, everyday settings that speak on my experiences as a queer black man.”
Photographer and filmmaker Magdalena Wosinska contributed a series of works documenting, as she explains, “those who strive to find joy and dream, despite the hardships and obstacles they face. Their resilience is motivational, which shines beauty back into the world.” The show at Praz-Delavallade features key works from each of the artists. Brooklyn-based photographer Naima Green documents, “young people who are often underrepresented in mainstream visual culture.” With a photo essay “based around identity,” photographer Abdi Ibrahim documented children of Somali and Ethiopian immigrants.
Doug Segar’s St. Croix series was inspired when the photographer “set out to explore the subculture and lives of horseback riders and ranchers native to the island. The intent was to open a window to the world of a cultural pastime from the perspective of native ranchers, and ‘bush’ jockeys. The term ‘bush jockey’ refers to the young African-American men native to the island who breed and race horses for fun, sport, social standing… and as a means of survival.”
With its potent portraiture, emotive short films, and deep dive interviews with subjects, FUTURE WITHOUT FEAR allows for intimate insights into these rarely-seen worlds. The exhibit deftly explores the nuanced topics of mental health, young Black motherhood, alienation, individuality, intersectionality, poverty, and community. Yet the show’s central focus is celebrating the vision, tenacity, and optimism of those working to lead us into our collective future – a world without boundaries, outdated modalities, and most importantly, without fear.
The FUTURE WITHOUT FEAR exhibit is free and open to the public.
Opening January 12th, 2023 at 6pm at Praz-Delavallade. After the opening, the exhibit will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11am to 5pm, ending January 26th.
FUTURE WITHOUT FEAR was conceived by THE WORK with the core mission of elevating the voices of a generation at risk. Featuring the work of: Kennedi Carter, Naima Green, Abdi Ibrahim, Clifford Prince King, Doug Segars, and Magdalena Wosinska.
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