haitian photographer celebrates how black people find strength in their skin in breathtaking photo series

April 10, 2017

Black people across the globe have gone through so much over the course of the last five centuries: Colonization, slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, segregation, mass incarceration–one unimaginable violence after another. It’s an absolute wonder that we have still survived, what to speak of thrived, yet so many of us have done just that.

One of those Black people creating and thriving in an anti-Black world today is a young Haitian photographer based in New York named Zarita Zevallos. Zevallos’s new photo series, Imperium, is a tribute to the resilience of Black people and the strength we find in our skin. In striking contrast, Zevallo uses the motif of shattered glass to emphasize the imposing physicality of her models, sending a message of empowerment through turmoil in what the artist calls the “divine madness in our skin.”

“We all live in tall glass houses; some glasses more translucent than others, some decorated with opaque curtains and some even hiding behind tall trees,” Zevallo explains. “Being born Black has always been an excuse for being bashed, denigrated and stoned to death. We focus so much on the quality of the glass–on protecting it–that we forget that the true foundation lies in our strength to stand tall even when all seems shattered. We are our own monuments.”

Check out the beautiful images featuring Remington Alexander below!

*Hari Ziyad is a New York based storyteller and writer for AFROPUNK. They are also the editor-in-chief of RaceBaitR, deputy editor of Black Youth Project, and assistant editor of Vinyl Poetry & Prose. You can follow them on Twitter @hariziyad.

Follow Zarita Zevallo: Instagram | Twitter | Website