Postcards for John
On July 26, 2020, John Lewis traversed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama one last time. A path of rose petals welcomed the passage of a horse-drawn carriage escorting the flag-draped casket of the late representative with the Lewis family walking in tow. In 1965, trails of blood covered the very same bridge. Bodies of peaceful protestors were beaten by white Alabama state troopers. Broadcast to the nation and around the world, Bloody Sunday was a turning point in the civil rights movement. It was a display of the violent realities many faced demanding freedom and the right to vote. An inexorable question was suddenly posed to viewers: which side are you on?
As I watched the celebration of his life from my home, news pundits announced that we were 100 days away from the election. In honor of John’s life, and the movements defending equality, justice, and freedom, my partner and I decided to start this on-going artist project of printing archival silver gelatin postcard prints (in a darkroom) to generate money for non-profits, COVID-19 relief, legal defense funds and to support the USPS. The printed mailed object represents solidarity, community, and connection in a time of solitude, illness, uncertainty, and continued reckonings.
Arundhati Roy wrote, in early April of 2020, that, ”Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.” Her words, and the life work of John Lewis, inspired the action of producing postcards from this portal of 2020/2021.
Each series of printed editions will benefit a different recipient with two-thirds of every sale donated directly. To purchase a postcard, or to find more information on the project please click any image below. Series collaborators include Christine Wood, Eve-Lauryn LaFountain, Opia (Heather O’Brien & Jonathan Takahashi), Gavati Wad & Nehal Vyas (forthcoming), Bahía Colectiva (forthcoming), and Harmony Holiday (forthcoming). This artist project is designed, printed, and produced in collaboration with Christine Wood.