Family Photo, Five Women Church Elders, Courtesy of the Artist, Abdul Aziz
“In ‘Reclaiming Echoes,’ I aim to pay homage to Africa’s rich cultural heritage and legacy, as embodied by two important African-centric communities in the United States – Africatown and the African Universal Church. Through my photographic and mixed media works, I aim to capture these communities’ essence, unique histories, and enduring spirit.
The photographs on display celebrate the African diaspora’s strength, perseverance, and vitality. The images of Africatown present a glimpse into a community founded by the last enslaved Africans brought to the United States and has continued to thrive despite numerous challenges. The photographs of the African Universal Church showcase the importance of spirituality and community in the lives of African Americans and offer a window into the vibrant worship practices of this denomination.
In ‘Reclaiming Echoes,’ I hope to provoke reflection and encourage viewers to explore their connections to the African diaspora. The exhibition aims to promote understanding, empathy, and a deeper appreciation of the rich cultural heritage that continues to shape the lives of people of African descent, both in Africa and worldwide. The works in this exhibition will serve as a testament to the power of the human spirit and the perseverance of the African soul.” Abdul Aziz, Artist Statement.
Abdul Aziz (b. 1979, New York, NY; based in New Orleans, LA) is an artist and media designer best known for his work as a photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. Earlier in his career, prior to 2008, he worked with the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana. Aziz has chronicled human conflict and urgent social issues in the Middle East and Africa to the far reaches of the Himalayas and US for over two decades. His most recent work focused on the rise of American white nationalism and the Black Lives Matter movement has been widely circulated by leading new agencies such as The New York Times, Der Spiegel, and NPR. In 2021, Aziz was recognized for capturing Louisiana’s history, culture, and peoples with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ Documentary Photographer of the Year Award.
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