From Her Body Sprang Their Greatest Wealth, from the series White Shoes, 2013
Although the work is talking about this hidden history of slavery in New York, it's also a celebration of the Black body, a celebration of me as a woman, as a mother, as a New Yorker, I am celebrating my freedom in these pictures.
My name is Nona Faustine. I'm a photographer and visual artist. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.
The genesis of the idea was to do a series that talked about the history of slavery in New York City. Many people don't know that New York was a slave state. The picture that is in the exhibition was taken at Wall Street. Human beings were the first commodity to be traded, bought and sold on Wall Street.
When I first thought of the project, I was scared. Just the idea of being nude in public was something that was very daring and over the top, and that's how I knew that it was the right thing to do, you know, and how to use my body to call attention to this history that I felt so passionately about.
Not only is it talking about the history, but also representation and why representation is so important. In museums and galleries, people like me, who look like me, up until recently, have pretty much been erased or not being given a platform or whose work has not been really shown. So, there are still things that we need to discuss as a nation, that we need to come to the table and acknowledge. That is why I feel that this is so important.