Live Virtual Auction, 15 February 2020
About this Item
In the series Liberty: A Universal Chronology of Black Protest, the Senegalese photographer Omar Victor Diop re-enacts, recounts, interprets and juxtaposes some of the defining moments of black history: from the Maroon resistance in 18th-century Jamaica to the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012, which inspired the Black Lives Matter movement.
“On the way back to his father’s house in Sanford, Florida, carrying iced tea and a bag of Skittles, 17 year-old Trayvon Martin crossed a fenced area where a series of burglaries had taken place. Neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot him dead and was acquitted following a trial. The incident prompted a series of protests against systemic racism and police violence against members of the African- American community, helping to give rise to the Black Lives Matter movement. In March 2012 thousands of people marched together in New York wearing hoodies and holding bags of Skittles. The colourful sweets around Diop in this photograph create a halo around the boy’s body, lending it a religious tone. It’s a resonance to be found in several of Diop’s saint-like portraits of these collective freedom fighters.”1
Autograph, London, Omar Victor Diop: LIBERTY/DIASPORA- Liberty: A Universal Chronology of Black Protest and Project Diaspora, 20 July to 3 November, 2018.