Amani Willett on Open Studio 2-19-21
Photographer Amani Willett discusses his new photobook, "A Parallel Road," and the positive conversations around race relations in America that it has generated.
- You know, this book is about the American roads
and a particular experience of black Americans
on the American roadways, but it's also,
that experience is a microcosm of race relations in America.
Right, and so it's been really hard this year to look
at what's happened.
But quite frankly, I think
in the era of social media, too, our awareness and our
and the way we've looked at violence against black people
that have been caught on camera and played in loops
over and over on social media has amplified this,
this problem as well.
So, you know, it's come to a head, you know
it's something I had been more aware
of in the last four or five years
in seeing it played out on social media
and this year was a particularly bad year.
And so it felt really important to try to have
this word come out now, you know, to,
it felt like the right the right moment,
the right time with what our country was going through.
And for me to help also, just as an artist to work
through some of my feelings and my anger and frustrations
getting this book out now is really important.
And, you know, it's, the reception has been
has made me really,
happy is not the right word because I'm not happy
about any of this, but I've had a lot of conversations
and you know, that's really the goal, right?
With anything you do when you're making art
is to inspire conversations.
And I've had a lot of conversations with people,
friends who are white and said,
wow I'll never look at driving the same way again,
I never thought about this.
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