“White Shoes” nude photography series highlights slavery’s roots in NY Financial District

NONA-900 on Wall Street
Photo source: Nona Faustine
Photographer Nona Faustine was drawn to shoot a series of self-portraits she calls “White Shoes”, which feature shots of her naked on sites associated with the slave trade in downtown Manhattan, NYC’s Wall Street area.

The Village Voice points out, “New York was the capital of American slavery for more than 200 years.”

Huffington Post author Priscilla Frank writes,

Revisiting the spaces haunted by such atrocious tales, Faustine drapes her body across the implicated grounds like a bold protestor or a spiritual medium. Her bare flesh recalls the stories of so many strangers that went untold, simultaneously raising questions about why bodies matter and, more specifically, which bodies matter.

and quotes Faustine:

“The images are my truth,” Faustine concluded. “My work is situated inside a photographic tradition, while questioning the culture that bred that tradition … I often feel like an ethnographer or anthropologist. Ours is a haunted, incomplete history, one that contradicts what we are taught about this country and its people. We must acknowledge and pay tribute to those that founded and built this country. Not just some of them, but all of them. Like the thousands of Africans buried under lower Manhattan, there are others in long forgotten places.”

I posted a link to Ms. Faustine’s artistic series on Facebook several months ago, but it was removed because a complaint was made that it was pornography and Facebook ruled in favor of that complaint.

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