The photographs here show the Movement for Black Lives as it has played out in the streets of Atlanta in June, 2020. Sustained nationwide public protests were sparked by the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th, 2020, and were reignited following the police murder of Rayshard Brooks in South Atlanta on June 13th, 2020. I have made these photographs as a participant, a non-Black ally, one of tens of thousands of people in Atlanta and millions across the US and the world who have gathered every day to demand an end to the dehumanization of Black Americans in all its forms—overt and covert, legal and vigilante, systematic and individual. If change requires both analytic and experiential knowledge, the photographs here reflect the latter. What I want from a photograph: something more than a mere visual record, a passive document, rather a live recognition, an activated discernment, a push toward visions that break the frame. For all their ubiquity and banality, photographs paradoxically remain radical objects of culture, among the most radical. For me, the task—clear and difficult—is to make the camera eye open the inner eye to the collective eye that already sees change coming.
The work here is a companion to my image-text piece, Say Their Names.
Jason Francisco / June 20th, 2020