“I have firmly believed all along that the law was on our side and would, when we appealed to it, give us justice. I feel shorn of that belief and utterly discouraged, and just now, if it were possible, would gather my race in my arms and fly away with them.”
–Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862–1931)
These six short films and videos explore self-revelation, craft, legacy, and ancestral knowledge(s) in ways that center Black narratives and challenge white cultural hegemony. Their dreamlike meditations consider cultural traditions of and from the African Diaspora related to the meaning of the word fly, making reference to stories of human flight, the return to homelands, and travel to longed-for realms. From narratives that undermine stereotypes of Black abjection to Afrofuturist provocations that reimagine memory, these works engage themes of movement, transcendence, spirituality, style, originality, and the supernatural.
Curated by Anita N. Bateman, PhD
Former Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow
Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
Special thanks to Dominic Molon, Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art, and Sionan Guenther, Associate Registrar, Digital Resources