The importance of celebrating the path to freedom in today’s reality is amplified through honouring Juneteenth and the Black Lives Matter Movements. We got inspired by the art of Muna Malik, whose work appears as a digital expression of the issues and is included in the Virtual Black Protest Art Show
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Muna Malik, NOMADSofORIGIN does not own rights to the images
20 June 2020
Friday 19th is an important day in history. Furthermore, it turned into legacy that must be continued. On this day, people from the Black community celebrate freedom from the oppression of a racist system that has taken away their liberty for centuries. This change has been a long time coming. Slavery existed in the United States of America until the 13th amendment was passed, stating that all oppressed people, who have been enslaved can finally receive their freedom. However, the path to true freedom proved to be just as difficult as it was to obtain it on paper.
We live in a time where freedom is a construct that doesn’t apply the same way to everybody. The reality for Black people in the US, and other countries, is proof that the message of Juneteenth must exist beyond that one day. Although Juneteenth is a day celebrated only by people from the Black community, it is also a source of empowerment for people from other backgrounds and races, who educate themselves on the matter, work towards achieving equality and continue supporting the movement.
The ongoing protests for Black Lives Matter have reached a global ground with marches and online actions as well. People use different ways to take part in the movement, including social media platforms, such as Instagram, which gives them the means to use the power of speaking up. The #ShareBlackStories initiative takes place online, but the impact of it echoes beyond its digital existence. The leader of the Virtual Black Protest Art Show is no other than Rujeko Hockley, assistant curator at the Whitney Museum. Her project includes the work of various Black art professionals who use their work to reflect reality and immortalise the movements.
The team of NOMADSofORIGIN got inspired by the dedication and work of artists like Muna Malik. She is one of the creatives who took part in the digital art show. As an LA photographer, her work speaks volumes about what freedom really is and what it means to be part of Juneteenth in today’s reality. Her work is authentic in its creativity. Malik has managed to portray the importance of the movement throughout the course of history by amplifying its meaning today. By combining strong images of the people in the community and layering them on top of pictures that grasp the beauty of nature, Malik makes a metaphoric parallel of the world we live in and how realities differ for people belonging to different races and social standing.
Many other artists take part in the virtual exhibition. As it is held online, access is free for everybody. The exhibition is a great opportunity to connect to the community, understand the culture on a deeper level and educate yourself as well as others on the ongoing matters through art and creativity.
Connect with the community and learn more about the culture surrounding Juneteenth. It is now more important than ever to show up our support, use our voices and stand up with the Black Lives Matter Movement. Connect with social media platforms that are relevant, positively contributing to the movement, follow journalists, photographers and artists who reflect the events and most importantly do your part to make sure you are involved in creating a better future for all.