For The People - Give Us The Ballot
For The
For The

For The People


Artist List

  • Intisar
  • Laylah Amatullah Barrayn
  • Janice
  • Jen
  • Ayanna V. Jackson
  • Zakkiyyah Najeebah Dumas O’neal
  • Sheila Pree Bright
  • Susan
  • Iman
  • Deborah Willis
Curated by blackpuffin for the #GiveUsTheBallot campaign, For the People is an outdoor photo exhibition that celebrates the political work and activism of Black Women and the American civil rights movements.
Featuring the work of 10 notable Black female photographers, the exhibition will consist of a series of large-scale artworks lining Auburn Ave, what was once Atlanta’s Black Wall Street. The exhibition will also be the backdrop of the March on for Voting Rights, a mass mobilization taking place in Atlanta and cities across the country on the Aug. 28 anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington. The exhibition will be up until September 30.

Intisar Abioto

Intisar AbiotoIntisar Abioto (b. Memphis, TN. 1986) is an artist working across photography, dance, and writing. Moving from the visionary and embodied root of Blackgirl Southern cross-temporal cross-modal storytelling ways, her works refer to the living breath/breadth of people of African descent against the expanse of their storied, geographic, and imaginative landscapes. Working in long-form projects that encompass the visual, folkloric, documentary, and performing arts, she has produced The People Could Fly Project and The Black Portlanders.

Laylah Amatullah Barrayn

Laylah Amatullah BarraynLaylah Amatullah Barrayn is a documentary photographer. Barrayn is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and has been published in Le Monde, National Geographic, Vogue, NPR, VOX, Vanity Fair, among other publications. Her work was recently nominated for a 2020 News and Documentary Emmy.

She is the co-author of the book MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. She is a member of Kamoinge, a pioneering collective of African American photographers founded in 1963. She was included as one of the Royal Photographic Society’s (UK) Hundred Heroines.

Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, with solo exhibitions at The Museum of the African Diaspora San Francisco, The Taubman Museum of Art (VA), MAK Gallery (Venice + London) and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporic Arts (NY). Her work has been shown collectively at the MANIFESTA Biennale (Italy); Brighton Photo Biennial (UK); The Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago)

Barrayn is currently working on a book on contemporary Black photographers.

Janice Bond

Janice BondJanice Bond (b. 1984, Houston, Texas) is a photographer and visual artist based in both Houston and Chicago, Illinois. Her works in photography, collage, textile, and video are inspired by intersecting human experiences and nature. Her intention is for others to experience a new form of cultural mapping built on trust, liberation, and love when engaging with her work. Bond has exhibited in a variety of spaces, including Woman Made Gallery (Chicago, IL), Mark Rothko Art Center (Daugavpils, Latvia), SE Center for Photography (Greenville, SC), MANA Contemporary (Jersey City, NJ), and more. In 2020 her photography was featured in” BORDERS”, an international arts and architecture festival in Venice, Italy. Her ongoing projects, Beyond the Binary (2016 - ) and I Still Love Him (2016 - ) affirm that it is imperative for women, particularly women of color to take the lead in documenting each other as well as other marginalized bodies across mediums and platforms. She creates because creating is truth – the most earnest reflection of us all in our most divine formation.

Jen Everett

Jen EverettJen Everett is an artist from Southfield, Michigan, currently based in Saint Louis, Missouri. Broadly, she is interested in the myriad ways Black people continue to produce and transmit knowledge in excess of formal structures. Her practice moves between lens and time based media, installation and writing. Jen’s recent work considers the relationship between rupture and Black interiority.

Jen received an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis where she was a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. She earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Tuskegee University. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally at art spaces including Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Krannert Art Museum, Kunsthall Stavenger, Seattle University’s Hedreen Gallery, SPRING/BREAK Art Show New York, and Vox Populi – Philadelphia.

Her work has been presented during lectures at the Saint Louis Art Museum and Harvard University, and published in Color Theory (Wolfman Books, 2019) and Undertow (Silent Face Projects, 2018). Jen has been an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, Atlantic Center for the Arts and ACRE. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) at Columbia College - Chicago.

Ayana V. Jackson

Ayana V. JacksonAyana V. Jackson (b. 1977 Livingston, NJ; based in Brooklyn, NY) uses archival impulses to assess the impact of the colonial gaze on the history of photography and its relationship to the human body. By using her lense to deconstruct 19th and early 20th century portraiture, Jackson questions photography’s authenticity and role in perpetuating socially relevant and stratified identities.

Her practice maps the ethical considerations and relationships between the photographer, subject and viewer, in turn exploring themes around race, gender and reproduction. Her work examines myths of the Black Diaspora and re-stages colonial archival images as a means to liberate the Black body.

Her work is collected by major local and international institutions including The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Newark Museum, The JP Chase Morgan collection, Princeton University Art Museum, the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, The Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Jackson was a 2014 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow for Photography, and the recipient of the 2018 Smithsonian Fellowship.

zakkiyyah najeebah dumas o’neal

zakkiyyah najeebah dumas o’nealzakkiyyah najeebah dumas o’neal’s work is most often initiated by personal and social histories related to family legacy, queerness, community making, and intimacy. o’neal’s practice borrows from the visual traditions of social portraiture, video assemblage, collage, and found images, and seeks to reinforce a different kind of gaze (and gazing) enacted through empathy, desire, love, connectedness, and longing. She makes work to further understand how her own lived experiences are connected to broader shared histories and social/cultural experiences. Within her projects there's an overlying theme of trying to make sense of what and who she belongs to socially and culturally. Ultimately, she intends for her work to reach spaces beyond representation, into a space of “elsewhere” - to imagine ways of being and feeling beyond the systems we inhabit.

zakkiyyah has been included in numerous group exhibitions and has had several solo exhibitions at Mana Contemporary, Blanc Gallery, and South Bend Museum of Art. She has also curated exhibitions at spaces such as Chicago Art Department, Blanc gallery and Washington Park Arts Incubator at the University of Chicago. She recently held the 2019- 20 Jackman Goldwasser Residency at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. She is currently an Artist in Residence at University of Chicago’s Arts and Public Life initiative.

She is also a Co-founder of CBIM (Concerned Black Image Makers): a collective driven project that prioritizes shared experiences and concerns by lens based artists of the Black diaspora.

Sheila Pree Bright

Sheila Pree Bright is an acclaimed International Photographic Artist who portrays large-scale works that combine a wide-range knowledge of contemporary culture. She is known for her series, #1960Now, Young Americans, Plastic Bodies, and Suburbia.

Bright’s is the author of '#1960Now: Photographs of Civil Rights Activists and Black Lives Matter protest' published by Chronicle Book. The work is a feature in the New York Times and she has appeared in the 2016 feature-length documentary film Election Day: Lens Across America. Her series has exhibited at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Smithsonian National Museum of African American Museum, Washington, DC; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; The Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and the Leica Gallery in New York. Her series #1960Now, Young Americans, Plastic Bodies and Suburbia have been extensively reviewed and written about national and internationally.

Bright is the recipient of several nominations and awards; Recently, she has been awarded the commission for 'Picturing the South' by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Her work is included in numerous private and public collections, to name a few; Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC; The Library of Congress, Washington, DC; National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA; Oppenheimer Collection: Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland, KS; Pyramid Peak Foundation, Memphis, TN; de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD; The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Spelman Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA; Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Atlanta GA; King & Spalding Art Collection, Atlanta GA; University of Georgia Athen, Athen GA; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland and the Do Good Fund, Columbus, GA.

Susan Ross

Susan RossSusan J. “Sue” Ross retired from the City of Atlanta after 36 years, and now pursues her passion for documentary and fine art photography as the PhotoGriot, Atlanta’s photo-cultural historian.

Sue managed the City’s Small Business Development Program - training over 500 small, minority & female firms while serving as the unofficial city photographer over the administrations of all six African-American Mayors. She is a founding member of Sistagraphy: the collective of African-American Women Photographers.

Sue exhibited her photography most recently in “The World of Toni Morrison” at the Auburn Ave Research Library, “Sistagraphy Selects” at Buzz Coffee & Winehouse, “The Beauty of a Woman” at Haugabrooks Gallery, “Shero” at the Arts Xchange, “In Conversation - Visual Meditations on Black Masculinity” at the African-American Museum in Philadelphia and the Atlanta Jazz Festival public art exhibit Downtown. Her photo of Atlanta’s Presidential Medal Honorees was the cover photo for Trendsetters to Trendsetters magazine.

The Office of Cultural Affairs honored Sue in the 2018 Elevate Atlanta SWATS Artists Mural in Southwest Atlanta. Rolling Out magazine awarded Sue the 2019 Social Justice Award at Sisters with Superpowers. The Arts Xchange named Sue the 2019 Arts & Justice Bridge Builder at the Ebon Dooley Awards. The Atlanta Business League honored Susan's lifetime achievements by induction in the Women’s Hall of Fame at the 2019 Super Tuesday Women of Vision Breakfast.

Iman Sebunya

Iman SebunyaIman Sebunya, born in 1988 in Berlin and currently based in New Orleans, focuses her work on the manifestation of culture, histories and resulting narratives in cities of the African Diaspora. Her images depict communities which have often been forged in the fires of history: oppression, colonialism and marginalization. She enjoys showcasing the resulting resistance (s) creating the radically new and hybridin the most positive definition of the word.

Iman is inspired by the post-colonial theory of hybridity which centers “the creation of new transcultural forms within the contact zone produced by colonialism” (Nasrullah Bambol, 2016). It is not by accident that Iman finds herself drawn repeatedly to New Orleans, where she currently resides. She delights in spaces where cultures collide, not least because of the two very disparate cultures which inform her own biography.

She worries about the culture of New Orleans slipping away as the forces of gentrification and commodification chip away at the essence of what has made this fabled city of the African Diaspora. She is heartened, though, by the inter-generational passing of cultural knowledge and heritage she witnesses in her New Orleans classrooms. Her work often focuses on children for this reason.

In everything Iman undertakes, she seeks to channel and infuse the subjects of her photographic portraiture with the agency, life force, innovation and resilience they clearly possess and all of which are informed by resistance.

Iman’s work is held in private collections and can currently be seen at aKAZ!ATL (Haugabrooks, 364 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA).

Deborah Willis

Photographer Deborah Willis is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She is the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She is the author of The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship and Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present, among others. Professor Willis’s curated exhibitions include: "Framing Moments in the KIA," "Migrations and Meanings in Art", "Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits” at the International Center of Photography; Out of Fashion Photography; Framing Beauty at the Henry Art Gallery and "Reframing Beauty: Intimate Moments" at Indiana University. Her art works have been exhibited at the Park Avenue Armory, Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, The University of Arts, Monument Lab and the Philadelphia African American Museum and Common Cause in Chicago, Photoville, among others.