Negra Te Veo developed from a documentary photo series into a study of rituals and coding. I accompanied dance artist Celia Benvenutti on a two-month long trip to Guayama, Puerto Rico. We planned to visit her father’s family and learn the history and basic technique of Bomba, a dance brought to the island by African slaves. Though Celia was fluent in Spanish and surrounded by family, her deep brown skin still made her an outsider. Together we navigated the land, the people, and the culture, excited to see this branch of our diaspora.
I went expecting to be immersed in newness, but found reflection instead. I learned the depth of language and began to see the seemingly minute ways I have been coded. This selection of black and white film photos from the trip are a glimpse of our daily wanderings.
– Bree Gant, Photographer –