photos from the West Indian Parade that aim to capture the natural rhythm women of color posses.
by Larmar Singh
In conversation with Larmar Singh pertaining to The Women That Raise Us:
"...We must move against not only those forces which dehumanize us from the outside, but also against those oppressive values which we have been forced to take into ourselves.” - Audre Lorde. Through experience, this concept has seemed to flow into our relationships with ourselves and our relationships with others, potentially, creating barriers and preventing us from building, supporting, and lifting one another. how can we transcend this construct?
Firstly, we must learn about the roots of our history/culture. I am black on my mother’s side and Indian Guyanese on my father’s. I have the blood of the slave going through my body from both halves. Without knowing what strides and sacrifices your ancestors made, you cannot know what information is fabricated to control you by those forces that oppress.
"Without knowing what strides and sacrifices your ancestors made, you cannot know what information is fabricated to control you by those forces that oppress."
The Women that Raise Us aims to exemplify the variations of women that raise and influence us, directly and indirectly, acknowledging every connection, whether ancestral or distant. Who are the women that have shaped you or raised you? Who are the women that continue to do so?
Life is about balance. It’s just how the universe operates. There’s a day and night, hot and cold. It’s what’s in between where lessons are taught and learned. Growth only occurs through a balance of good and bad experiences. You have to know how failure feels in order to know how success (however you determine) feels.
In what ways can we, as a community, release the stereotypical negative perspectives and ideas of women of color and their roles? How can we transcend these constructs and deepen the interpersonal / intrapersonal relationships with women of color?
Let women be who they want to be without judgment. Us men have fragile egos when it comes to women being more talented, smarter, stronger, etc. We have to let our guards down from this notion that we are superior to women, which we have been led to think both directly and indirectly. The true self of the individual will surface.
What are your thoughts on women of color being hyper-visible yet invisible in society and/or within their own communities?
“The media is the message.” The misrepresentation of the black woman via white media plays a part to the appropriation, along with how the community internally presents itself. There are television shows like Blackish, and then there’s Love and Hip Hop. Ownership of the platform or medium is vital to controlling the proper representation and celebration of the women of color.
How can we lift each other while we still climb as individuals? How can this become an ongoing practice?
Be, as you want to be without fear. Others will see you are living freely and it will inspire them to as well. Judgment in the black community is a hindrance. Let's eliminate the comment of “you’re white” for having an interest in something most outside the black community has openly shown interest in. Like what you like because it’s what you like, and not for the approval of the cultural community you are connected to.
"Be, as you want to be without fear."
Larmar J. Singh is an artist based out of Queens, New York. His work aims to capture the texture and intimacy of daily life, and the core value of individuals as they present themselves. His images of the African American community explore the gestural relation to the New York City urban landscape.