I WAS NOT BORN BIG
I find myself when I find my community. My blackness becomes understood, my voice is heard and I feel a sense of belonging. The black diasporas in Naarm/Melbourne share a wealth of experience surrounding their black identities. We are a community that is rich in diversity; food, culture, knowledge, and stories that all influence our identities. This body of work is an intimate exploration of the influences that build our identities through experiences and our communities.
Self-directed storytelling with my sitters as co-creators is a centred in my methodology. I aim to collaborate creatively to share their stories and experiences in an ethical and considerate manner. This intimate process allows me to expand and develop new relationships as I enter the home of friends and strangers. I have the privilege to spend time in a safe space, where knowledge and cultural identities are shared, but not extracted. The project evolves to not only be of a single author, but instead a co-authored archipelago of belonging.
Working collaboratively in the home, the work uses a variety of still and moving images to capture the elements that shape our identities. Each family shares a different story and experience; through their voices we hear intimate experiences that have developed their sense of self. Using my positionality as a black woman, there is a reclamation of retelling these stories that have always been written for us, not by us. I Was Not Born Big exists to create space for my community to celebrate our blackness and challenge the stereotypes that are often projected onto us by the wider media.