Father Figure

@ Lee, Zun


New product

Presentation project on the artist's website:

"Black father absence is a contentiously-debated social issue in the US and other countries. Too many Black men, so the argument goes, are missing, irresponsible, selfish, not stepping up to the plate. Visuals of deadbeat, absentee Black fathers abound in mainstream media, often intended to sensationalize and ridicule rather than to raise awareness.

These stereotypes did not emerge out of thin air. Married couples with children constitute less than one-fifth of African American households. Over 60 percent of African American children are raised by single mothers. As Americans are struggling to cope with the social and economic consequences of the worst recession since the Great Depression, it appears this will likely become more of a reality for not just Black children, but many kids of all racial groups.
It was not too long ago when a family secret was uncovered: My own biological father was a Black man who allegedly disappeared when he learned my mother was pregnant with me. (…) I realized that a huge part of me was curious to know more about my Black father, wanting to understand, get to a place of forgiveness. And that longing had informed my creative process all along. Without any information about my father’s identity or whereabouts, the only way to come to terms with my feelings was to examine them through photography.

Over the past two and a half years, I’ve developed relationships with several Black fathers from different walks of life and in different cities in the US and Canada. Every father I met spoke with his own voice. They expressed their swagger, life rhythm, and ways of relating with their kids and partners in very unique ways. And perhaps more importantly, as I observed these families, another truth manifested loud and clear: Contrary to the prevalent media caricature of Black men as aggressive, violent, and irresponsible, the fathers I met were loving, affectionate, and dependable. They readily shared their feelings and emotions, their concerns and fears. They were vulnerable enough to allow me to photograph them in moments of joy and times of frustration. They were by no means perfect, but unsung everyday heroes nonetheless, committed to being present one fatherly act at a time."

This book is shortlisted for the "Aperture Foundation / Paris Photo 2014 - First Photobook Award".

With texts by Zun Lee, Teju Cole and Trymaine Lee.

Concept, Design & Layout: Eva-Maria Kunz.

124 pages - Hardcover, no DJ

Ceiba, 2014 (1,000 copies)

New - Mint condition

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45,00 €

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