VISUALIZING BLACK LIVES: OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL IN AFRO-BRAZILIAN MEDIA
30 March 2023
A new generation of Afro-Brazilian media producers have emerged to challenge a mainstream that frequently excludes them. Reighan Gillam delves into the dynamic alternative media landscape developed by Afro-Brazilians in the twenty-first century. With works that confront racism and focus on Black characters, these artists and the visual media they create identify, challenge, or break with entrenched racist practices, ideologies, and structures. Gillam looks at a cross-section of media to show the ways Afro-Brazilians assert control over various means of representation in order to present a complex Black humanity. These images–so at odds with the mainstream–contribute to an anti-racist visual politics fighting to change how Brazilian media depicts Black people while highlighting the importance of media in the movement for Black inclusion.
An eye-opening union of analysis and fieldwork, Visualizing Black Lives examines the alternative and activist Black media and the people creating it in today’s Brazil.
Reighan Gillam, Ph. D. is an ethnographer of Black visual culture. She is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Southern California. Her research examines media at the intersection of racial ideologies, anti-racism, and protest. Specifically, she focuses on the ways that Afro-Brazilian media producers create images that render Black subjects and their experiences in complex ways. Her first book, Visualizing Black Lives: Ownership and Control in Afro-Brazilian Media was published in March 2022 from the University of Illinois Press. She earned a BA in Anthropology and Afro-American and African Studies from the University of Virginia and a PhD from Cornell University. Gillam served as the Peggy Rockefeller Fellow at Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation. She was elected to the Executive Committee of the Brazilian Studies Association.