by Marley Nichelle | Locs Image
We are not oppressed is a photo essay by Marley Nichelle for Locs Image of Black people and families in Charlottesville and beyond. This essay is designed to recognize the inherent agency and humanity in Black people. The essay is a historical record of dignity in the midst of a world and community that constantly attempts to wrestle human dignity away from Black people. This photo essay is a collaboration between Locs Image and the Charlottesville Inclusive Media Project. Please stay tuned for more additions as the series continues.
“No, We Are Not Oppressed,” is a photo series of a story in time—of moments in time. It serves as a narrative of liberation and healing for communities of Blackness by showing them power through language and visual arts. This experience gave me, the artist/photographer, the opportunity to engage and communicate with Black community through many different languages. Each session has been astounding with gratitude with every individual’s willingness to participate and be apart of a moment and movement in history where we see ourselves through competence and liberation. When it comes to the Black community, healing should be a revolutionary act and not just a topic of discussion. How can we heal our community? We need to be intentional in our healing.
Blackness is not one way. In fact, we are an energy moving in all directions at all times, gravitating in many unique ways ancestrally. It varies in multiple perspectives based on cultural background, region, and environment, and that is okay. These are the roots that keep us together. Living in a system that is built to oppress, this series is created to show power in solidarity through images that tell a story of what it is like to be different yet the same, and embracing those differences by sticking together.
— Marley Nichelle