Chris Cook : Black Lives Matter Book
The “Black Lives Matter Movement” series explores the titular social cause and their strivings for racial justice amid the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Formed in 2013 after the killing of Black teen, Trayvon Martin, their work has been grounded on bringing an end to police brutality and racial violence against Black members of society. The grassroots group’s focus on protest is central to this work. As a photographer of color, this art form affords me a safe space to delve into the realities of those often overlooked and discounted; something I desperately wanted to confront in this work. For me, my images are my protest.
In my eyes, this is my generation’s movement. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic rendered the world powerless, like many, I wanted to focus on what I could control – my participation in the world around me. Recent ongoing global support of the Black Lives Matter movement has been preceded and sustained by steady local, community activism; the organizers of which remain mostly unnamed and faceless, and their identities eclipsed only by the impact of their work. I wanted to tell their story. It is important to display and preserve narratives that snubbed mainstream attention. Although my images are not featured stories in print, they are deeply personal to me as they reflect a profound historical moment in which I was able to take part and am fortunate I can now pass them on to the future.