Kristin Rowe: My Domain
Over the last few months photographer Kristin Rowe captured a series of images and audio interviews with a selection of Black Women and Non-Binary Black artists who they believe are prime examples of self preservation. Sharing their space and time, these portraits shed light on the routines and physical locations that create a semblance of peace for them, in efforts to inspire those who may not know how to unplug and prioritize their needs first. The project is an uninterrupted conversation that speaks to community, wellness, inspiration and finding joy in trying times. A special thank you to Sacha Alexandra, Sammi Gay, Shala Miller and Tann Parker
Kristin Rowe: (0:00)
Community has always looked like showing up. Um, just the simple act of showing up because to me it's intrinsically tied to the act of love. And I really only show up for the things and the people who move me in some way. And, uh, thankfully my definition really hasn't changed with the times. If anything, it's become more amplified to align with my self-care practices. Because now more than ever I'm gravitating towards the people and the things that like support me in every capacity. And, it's basically easier to just go where the love is at and to stay there. Like there really isn't much room for anything else.
Sacha Alexandra: (01:11)
Honestly, I've never been prouder to be black than this moment. Honestly, I feel like I used to be so afraid, you know, just to be who I am. And I feel like because of like community, because of, you know, the sense of connectedness, I feel not alone. So I realized like now that like, I'm not in need to be like afraid. I don't need to be afraid. I don't need to feel like I'm alone. And like, I just need to realize that like black is power black is beautiful and you know, like it's never been a better time to be black, I think now than to like really fight for like what we need, you know, because one day they'll look back and I hope, I hope, I hope that all the stuff that we had to go through, won't be something that the future generation has to go through.
Kristin Rowe: (02:11)
To stay inspired. I've been going on a lot of long walks, no matter what the weather has got going on. I think that was a pretty much a norm and in my life pre COVID, but I think now there's a sense of urgency to capture the world that's changing around us. Um, just because we are, you know, living through a major historical event and, um, memory definitely warps with time. And I think the one thing that's a constant truth is your archive of negatives. Like you can't change that. And I think it's important to just shoot everything and anything because it will not look the same tomorrow. And that's a fact.
Tann Parker: (03:18)
The ways I exhibit reverence for myself on the days are harder than most. I do that by allowing myself to feel my feelings, to be honest about them and to have a personal ego check. What I've been doing to find inspiration is looking at other forms of body modification. I've always been scared of getting piercings. My last piercing was over five years ago, and I know as I grow into entering my thirties, that I want to strengthen my spiritual practice and body modification has always been something that connects and aligns my body. And other than getting tattooed, I haven't done, um, much of getting piercings and other body modification. So that has been inspiring me to see other folks, uh, with their collection.
Sammi Gay: (04:33)
I think, ways that I've been trying to cultivate joy in my life has been meals with friends. Um, you know, that's my favorite way to connect with people is over a delicious meal. And like having that intimate time, it's so fulfilling to me, um, trying to practice having an open heart, I think feeling embodied or practicing or trying to achieve embodiment has been a slight journey for me. I'm a super heady person. Um, I'm always in my brain and like sometimes I neglect the rest of my body, especially doing such physical labor. Um, so I've been just trying to constantly remind myself of my body, whether it's taking a walk or, you know, soothing these aches and thinking about working out, um, yeah, I've been really desiring some full body connection, but it has been more of a, um, some work for me, but the joys of the journey as well. And what it could be? You know? Um, so I've been really leaning into that.
Shala Miller: (05:52)
I think running yourself ragged or not listening to yourself when it's saying whatever it it's saying, you know, when it's telling you what it needs and you're neglecting it is being disrespectful to yourself. And I didn't really think about it in that way before this, this, um, pre quarantine time. Um, but yeah, I just have learned that it's, it's it's necessary because I care about myself or at least I really should care about myself and care about my life. And, um, um, I deserve to live well and the same way that I resist and try to guard myself from mistreatment outside of myself, from other people from institutions, whatever it may be. I have to do the same thing to myself. You know, if I'm finding that I'm resorting to, um, a conditioned habit of like, just like either being abusive to myself emotionally or physically, then I need to do something about it. Um, so I just try to constantly like keep myself in check, and try not to be so try not to be neglectful, but again, you know, it's hard. Um, and I think that that all kind of relates to, black joy and, and what that means to me and what it means for me to see it as an act of pillar of resistance. And because yeah, I do think that, you know, there are things that we have to unlearn. There are things that we've been conditioned to think and to do. And a lot of that has to do with like, you know, thinking as black people, we don't deserve to rest. We don't deserve love. We don't deserve joy. We don't deserve beauty. We are, we have no beauty. We have no, we have nothing. And I think resisting that, um, is necessary because again, like what I was talking about, you know, about having respect for yourself and understanding that you deserve a good and beautiful life. And I think in order to do that is to actively resist these things that we have been, conditioned to think, um, you know, things that we may not want to live within us, but have found residence within us regardless. And, um, so yeah, I just it's, it means a lot to me to understand that every day, that in order to live the life that I know that I deserve and desire, I have to resist and that means that I have to be joyful and that means I need to practice love and know that I am deserving of that as well.