Free as They Want to Be: Artists Committed to Memory (Hardcover)
How the photographic arts have embodied the aspiration for freedom in Black America
Accompanying the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial exhibition, Free as They Want to Be considers the historical and contemporary role that photography and film have played in remembering legacies of slavery and its aftermath, while examining the social lives of Black Americans within various places, including the land, at home, in photographic albums, at historical sites and in public memory.
The publication, which takes its name from James Baldwin's 1961 book Nobody Knows My Name, presents some 20 artists working in photography, video, silkscreen, projection and mixed-media installation, all of which explore the possibilities of freedom. Their quest to be "as free as they want to be" is envisioned in the subject matter they explore, as well as in their drive to innovate aesthetic practices in photographic mediums.
Photographers and artists include: Terry Adkins, Radcliffe Bailey, J.P. Ball Studio, Sadie Barnett, Dawoud Bey, Sheila Pree Bright, Bisa Butler, Omar Victor Diop, Nona Faustine, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Daesha Devon Harris, Isaac Julien, Catherine Opie, Yelaine Rodriguez, Hank Willis Thomas, Lava Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, Wendel White and William Earle Williams.