As idyllic as Fire Island presents itself, the Black and Brown folks who revel in its beauty also experience both overt and subtle racism — this island is but a microcosm of our planet. As such, Flash has taken advantage of her prodigious BOFFO Residency to capture gorgeous portraits and poignant interviews, which unveil some of the heart wrenching, untold stories of this community. In collaboration with artist Ntu, these interviews have been transformed into a sonic experience that blends these perspectives with dynamic and ethereal beats. Flash’s installation leaves no room for doubt: we are here and we continue to fashion safe and joyous spaces.
After a recent period of reckoning with racial bias, this much needed series seeks to share and reclaim the vulnerability that comes with being both queer and Black or Brown. Flash allows the viewer’s senses to be confronted with the power of the community that is here by bearing witness to the unsung tales of its members, which showcase both the progress that has been made and that which is still needed. This series serves as proof we are here, we too are queer, and we will not be ignored. This is but a touchstone in the important conversations that are percolating around race and racism on this tiny island, which reverberate back to communities across the globe, and whose lessons we must never forget. It is Flash’s desire that this work will allow for a process of healing and reveal the divine power amongst her beloved people.
Lola Flash and BOFFO would like to thank the following featured subjects for their participation in We are HERE: The Unsung Fire Island: Afua Kafi-Akua, Adrienne Fishe, Antonio Haynes, Bruce Benson, Carl Rios, Charles Archer, Crayton Robey, DonChristian Jones, Doug Harris, Ellery Washington, Emolsa Haasacha, Joseph Laws, Journey Streams, Julian Dorcelian-Eberhardt, Kyetay Beckner, Michele Hill, Noel Kirnon, Raymond Toomer, Sean Godfrey-Reives, Steven Miller, Victor Jeffreys II
Reception held from 12:00 – 1:00 PM