I'm Thelmalee, I've lived in the north end for half my life. I attend Central High School and am a member of the Class of 2020. I am a poet, artist, and an upcoming photographer. I look forward to sharing all my talents with other artists. Also learning new things from different perspectives. I feel it is important as an artist to always stay open minded and willing.
In the future I would like to experience different things and develop new skills along the way. I am excited to see what Aaliyah and I come up with for our next series. I can't wait for all the opportunities she and I will have.
Professional DSLR camera operation;
Lighting and backdrop set up and operation;
Conceptual photography technique;
Post-production editing in photography;
Software applications: Adobe Photoshop, Light Room, MS Word.
I chose to take portraits of the people that I love. People that are strangers to you. These children embody the beginning chapters of adolescence. I captured them in a way that doesn’t really show them in their naturally lively state, because I wanted to show how society chooses to represent children who look like them. Society chooses to label them under one category based on statistics. Society doesn’t see them as I see them, as individuals with their own characteristics. The characteristics are what I love. I love their personalities.
Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah!
If I was to tell the story, you would zone out. The story of all that I love; There are a lot of things. As for what I’ve captured, I love emotion. Even in what seems to be an expressionless face there is emotion. In THEIR eyes. The narrator of this story are their eyes. The eyes of youth and amongst youth there is a love of life.
The American Dream from a Forgotten Perspective
What does it mean to live the American dream? It means to live forgotten. A perfect land would be one where “all men are created equal with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
“The Pursuit of Happiness” (first photograph to the right) presents sadness. You have a flag that represents a country that promises that you can live with happiness in it's fine print. In a country that leaves that out, the pursuit of happiness is something people try to achieve through the barriers thrown at them by their own country. This photo shows the face of the forgotten who have been living in sadness. The flag and what it represents is more of a response to all those that believe in the "American dream". It's made to say that some Americans haven’t seen the promised freedom that is attached to our flag through other people’s eyes. “
“Hands Up / Don’t Shoot “ (photograph top center) reflects a huge statement. There have been too many moments where people of color have been attacked - physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Most in our United States of American do not move quickly to jump up and help the person "up". Instead they place their praise upon our patriotic symbols. There is so much respect given to objects. Parents often complain that that their children’s phones are controlling them (an object), without realizing that they are praising and allowing a flag (an object) to control them. This photograph represents the silence given to those killed today and those killed years ago - those whose names can’t be remembered. This photograph is dedicated to children that are killing children because they aren’t taught the value of another child’s life - because what they see is that cops kill, that we kill -and so they kill, because its either kill or be killed.
Children don’t yet know the intelligence sculpted within their minds or the rhythms of their hearts, that is until they are forced to. It is in those heightened moments of fear that they have to become “smart” quickly, because in an instance they can find themselves in a situation where right from wrong doesn’t exist and things happen quick. Isn’t that what the cops say? “That it all happened all too fast?; “That they felt a threat in the moment, so they reacted without a second thought?” Why was it that their second thought was to shoot? Then shoot? Then shoot 10 times more? How is it that a police officer can just hide behind that badge? They are sworn to follow the law, to pledge to the flag. They are held up high in our society as American heroes. And yet, so many of them have ignored the fine print – our “right to live” blinded to children on their knees; with hands up, and fear in their eyes. Blinded to young men pleading for their lives, unable to remind our Officers of the Law that they cannot attack them physically, mentally, or emotionally because they have the right to live.
All men are created equal” (photograph bottom center) is divided by color - the black and grey (dark side) and the colored (light side). It shows the division, that in turn creates inequality. Holding on to a flag where the red and white stripes are fading away along with the stars, presents the idea that America is erasing everything it was said to stand for. When grasping onto something you’ve waited so long for just for it to fade away, you feel yourself as separated - denied opportunity; lost in your longing for something that will never be yours to have. It is then, that you realize that your country – the country you have known your whole life, has forgotten your name.
This first image shows someone that looks very unhappy and scared in a way. The flag and the question written on it, is more a response for all those that believe in the "American dream". America itself seems to separate itself from all other areas in an arrogant manner.
This separation leads people to be confused on what is truly happening in America. They are told that we are all given the opportunity to pursue "American Dream", but then again what is the "American dream"?
Liberty” (photograph to the far right) shows that as an American some of us might never take part in this “dream” or in the patriotism that surrounds it. It's to say we will not stand for being less than, and allowing the flag that represents our country to contain more value and worth than our minds, bodies and souls. Its saying “STOP America, STOP promising broken promises with your flag that must be pledged to. The flag flying upside down shows how a dream can easily be turned into a nightmare.
DIGITAL JOURNEYS HEAD SHOTS 4.25.18