Black Lives Matter

Photography and words by Jessica Eliza Ross

March 2022

The London Black Lives Matter protests marked some of the most powerful days I have experienced in my lifetime and perhaps the proudest I have felt to be a Londoner. I was overwhelmed by the drive for action, peace, unity and love that swept through our streets. I guess that's the beauty of Blackness, the ability to turn pain into power, through love.

Working within the medium of analogue photography, my work seeks to discuss ideas around identity, both individual and collective. Exploring themes around the Black female form, creating a space for minorities to be represented wholeheartedly and a continual exploration of my own heritage and that of others within the Afro-Caribbean British diaspora.

Equality, social justice, visibility and breaking down stereotypes around gender, race and sexuality are recurring themes in my work. I have been inspired by the aesthetics of traditional portraiture to pay creative homage to the misplaced depiction of Black bodies in western mainstream art. I hope by referencing art of the past, or lack of, alongside colonial history, I can use my art to evoke conversations and shift to a more progessive and humane future.

My work sits at the intersection of fine art, fashion, portraiture and documentary. Essentially, I want to create the imagery I didn’t see as a child while challenging notions of westernised beauty and celebrating Black joy and power in all forms.

You can find more of Jessica’s work here and here.