Curated Conversation: “Black Is Beautiful” in the Instagram Age

2021tue13jul5:00 pmCurated Conversation: “Black Is Beautiful” in the Instagram AgeA free online event, part of our Curated Conversation series.

Event Details

Tuesday, July 13, 2021 | 5:00pm CT

Kwame Brathwaite’s ideas about the power of images to drive social change remain resonant for a new generation of photographers committed to representing Black people and their communities. Austin-based photographers Cindy Elizabeth, Moyo Oyelola, and Riley Reed will discuss photographic activism and the role of social media in their own work.This virtual conversation will be moderated by the Blanton’s Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Claire Howard.

This virtual event is held in conjunction with our exhibition Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite.

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About our Speakers

A smiling woman with purple lipstick, wearing a white sleeveless shirt.

Cindy Elizabeth @cindyelizabethphoto
Born and raised in the historic east side of Austin, TX, Cindy Elizabeth began exploring photography in her teens, as a means to document and archive her time spent with family and friends. Pushing aside her passion to pursue a corporate career, Elizabeth rediscovered her desire to document the world around her after graduating from Baylor University in 2010. As a result, Elizabeth began working with local organizations to document the stories of marginalized communities, and bring light to the impact of gentrification on her own community. Utilizing the mediums of photography, film, and mixed media, Elizabeth found photography to be a tool to explore concepts of culture, history, and symbolism. Her work strives to bring visibility to Black joy, community, and perseverance in the face of hardship. Elizabeth’s work has been showcased at The George Washington Carver Museum, ICOSA gallery, Women and Their Work Gallery, and The University of Texas at Austin. When she is not making photographs, Cindy can be found vibing out to her favorite Old School music while planting flowers on “Animal Crossing.” Photo: Alicia Hubert

A man wearing a beige hat and yellow shirt with a denim jacket.

Moyo Oyelola @moyo2k
Moyo Oyelola is a photographer, multimedia artist and activist. He creates intimate, real interactions with his subjects and communities and synthesizes that into deep, universal activations expressed in multimedia, photography, environmental installations,and public arts projects. Born in Nigeria, Moyo moved to Austin when he was seven. Having grown up as the “product of two worlds” has shaped his thinking and work, reflecting perspectives of pan-African and modern western worlds. Moyo’s work has been featured in brand films, advertising, editorial, music videos, environmental installations, personal projects, and an evolving number of public arts projects. Photo: Courtesy Moyo Oyelola

A woman wearing a purple vest top peeks through a flower bush of large purple hibiscus.

Riley Reed @rileyblanksreed
Riley Reed is a socially conscious storyteller, photographer, writer, and the founder of Woke Beauty—a creative studio, photography movement,and self-actualization tool that celebrates the inherent resilience of women everywhere. Riley’s work serves to question the lenses of beauty and power. She uses self-portraiture and thoughtful photography to capture the world in a different light, one that centers life’s intersections, the experiences of women of color,and the curiosities behind our collective identities. Her projects as a writer and photographer have been featured in publications like NPR StoryCorps, Forbes, Camille Styles and Tribeza. As a creative, she has worked with brands like Gap, Google, Whole Foods,and Dove to create everything from social media campaigns to editorial spreads and life-size exhibitions. Riley’s commitment to deep, truthful storytelling guides her relationship to advocacy, education, and community-building. Humanitarian and societal issues continue to shape Riley’s projects, too. She proudly serves as a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum, sits on the board of Fresh Chefs Society, and collaborates with nonprofit organizations to foster spaces that value creative insurgence, equity, and inclusion. Riley has lived in 15 cities and six countries throughout her lifetime and is now based in Austin, Texas with her husband, Jack. Photo: Riley Reed

Funding provided by the Carolyn Harris Hynson Centennial Endowment.

Image Credit: Kwame Brathwaite, Carolee Prince wearing her own jewelry designs. Prince created much of the jewelry and headpieces featured in Brathwaite’s work. African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS), Harlem, ca. 1964; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019). Courtesy the artist and Philip Martin Gallery, Los Angeles.


July 13, 2021 5:00 pm(GMT+00:00)

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