“Project 20’s” deals with the resistance and survival of Black and Latinx people between the ages of 20 and 30. It is inspired by my upbringing in Detroit, MI and my love for contemporary Hip-Hop music. "Project 20’s" comes from two specific songs, We Don’t Care by Kanye West from his College Dropout album, and Chapter Six by Kendrick Lamar from his Section 80 album. Both of these songs speak about the life of minority youth in marginalized communities; struggling to make a living and be happy by any means necessary. This, as a result, leads a large amount of Black and Latinx youth to either end up in jail or worst dead. I found this topic to be more important to me as I found myself making Chicago home and seeing how gentrification and poverty were affecting black and Latinx Youth (i.e putting them in positions that marginalized them even more).
This project is set for me to photograph over 200 Black and Latinx people. I am reaching out to communities, groups, collectives, etc. to acquire the portraits I need. I have come to the realization while working on this project that: First, this project is affecting more communities than I thought, which makes me want to expand to other cities nationwide to photograph more people. Secondly, not everyone will be able to make their way to me to have their portraits taken. Since this dilemma, I have been setting up makeshift studios wherever I can (Similar to Richard Avedon’s In the American West) giving people the opportunity to be a part of the project.
After taking photos of the subjects, I process the photos as Cyanotypes stained with Black Tea, or Coffee. The process is not only for aesthetics for the tones in the shades of black and browns but also was influenced by Louis Agassiz's Slave Daguerreotypes. My plan is to showcase the faces from the project on a wall within the communities being affected by gentrification, as a reminder of black and brown people being removed from their neighborhoods and communities for capital gain.