How do Black people take care in a climate of anti-Blackness? What does rest look like for Black people when enduring the longue durée of Black suffering? What are the subtle, sustainable, powerful ways to run on, without burning out emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually? 

By observing the interiority and quietude of Black people, despite the arduous marathon towards justice and the various trials and tribulations that simultaneously impede and inspire it, American visual artist and Assistant Professor of Photography at Rochester Institute of Technology, Joshua McFadden’s photographs explore and celebrate the intimacies of Black life in the United States. McFadden’s recently released book, I Believe I’ll Run On, not only demonstrates his mastery of a wide range of photographic genres—social documentary, reportage, portraiture, book arts, and fine arts—and his use of the medium to confront racism and anti-Black violence, but also is a testament to the healing and protective possibilities of turning inward. He critically examines race, masculinity, sexuality, and gender in the United States to reveal the destructive impact of these constructs on Black Americans. Like Black photographers before him, such as Gordon Parks, Roy DeCarava, Carrie Mae Weems, Dawoud Bey, and LaToya Ruby Frazier, McFadden documents the beauty of Black life and illuminates the specificity of Black living in our historical present, including a series of impactful photographs devoted to the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

Artist and Professor of Art and Art Education at NYU Steinhardt, Lyle Ashton Harris’s diverse artistic practice also comments on societal constructs of sexuality and race, while exploring his own identity as a queer, Black man. In conversation they will unpack how one can find an internal rest in the face of these societal constructs. How is the observation of quietude in Black people through art, in and of itself an act of resistance?

The talk will be followed by time for Q&A from the audience.

This event is part of CBVC’s three-year initiative, The Black Rest Project (BRP). For the next three years, CBVC commits to making Black rest visible by asking, what does Black rest look like? And what will it take to get there?

Cosponsored by the Department of Photography & Imaging, NYU Tisch School of the Arts; NYU’s 370J Project; NYU Center for Media, Culture, and History; NYU Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation; and NYU Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.

Space is limited for the in-person event. RSVP is required. You may RSVP for in-person or virtual attendance by clicking on the following link:

Joshua Rashaad McFadden

(c) TJ Jones

Joshua Rashaad McFadden, visual artist and Assistant Professor of Photography at Rochester Institute of Technology, uses portraiture and archival imagery to explore themes and concepts related to identity, masculinity, history, race, and sexuality. His practice provides a frame of reference that articulates the many personalities of Black men. McFadden, Rochester, N.Y. native, holds a BA in Fine Art from Elizabeth City State University and an MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. 

McFadden received the first place International Photography Award (IPA) for “After Selma,” his photographic response to numerous police brutality incidents in 2015. He also won the first place IPA award in 2016 for “Come to Selfhood,” his series examining African American manhood. In 2017, McFadden was recognized as one of Time Magazine’s “American Voices” and received the Duke University Archive of Documentary Arts Collection Award for Documentarians of Color. McFadden’s “I Am A Man” photographic series with the Smithsonian Magazine won him the 2018 Communication Arts Award of Excellence. 

His work has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Published in conjunction with his first solo museum exhibition, McFadden’s new book “Joshua Rashaad McFadden: I Believe I’ll Run On” demonstrates his mastery of a wide range of photographic genres—social documentary, reportage, portraiture, and fine art—and his use of the medium to confront racism and anti-Black violence. This book offers an overview of and insight into a poignant and deeply personal body of work, asserting McFadden’s key role in shaping the art and visual culture of the United States.

Lyle Ashton Harris

(c) Lloyd Foster

Lyle Ashton Harris (born in Bronx, New York, 1965) has cultivated a diverse artistic practice, ranging from photography and collage to video installation and performance art, examining the impact of ethnicity, gender, and desire on the contemporary social and cultural dynamic globally through intersections of the personal and the political. Harris has been widely exhibited internationally, most recently in a solo exhibition at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Miami and in recent group exhibitions at Copenhagen Contemporary (“The Art of Sport”), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (“Black American Portraits”), and currently through autumn 2022 at the Voorlinden Museum in the Netherlands (“Art is the Antidote”). A solo exhibition of his works spanning three decades will be presented in the U.S. by the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University and the Nasher Museum at Duke University in 2023-24. His work is represented in the collections of MoMA (New York); the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York); the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York); the Tate Modern (London, UK), among many others. Harris’s most recent photography monograph was published by Aperture, and he is represented in New York by LGDR.


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Because of limited venue capacity, RSVP and advance registration is required.

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