In 2018, after learning about the dangers that Serena Williams and Beyoncé Knowles faced during childbirth because of improper care, I became curious about pregnancy risks that Black women face in the US. Their stories might be well-known, but those of women who lack access, agency, or resources too often go untold.
What is beauty for? What is its source? Polish artist Alicja Wróblewska thinks about such things as she fashions fanciful sculptures, snaps photographs, and creates collages both analog and digital to explore the impact of plastics on ocean health.
On a hot June afternoon, driven by an anxiety that seems to track with the viciousness of the national mood, I visit an arcade to see if it still has the analgesic effect I craved as a lonely teenager, when I felt especially embattled because, as a black person, I’d begun to realize what America might have in store for me.
The summer I turned twenty-six, I stopped taking pictures. This wasn’t just out of character—this was abnegation of character, so foundational was my belief in a photographic clenched fist around the past. I have always been a writer, but I’ve never been a competent diarist; until that summer, I had measured out my life with photo sleeves.