Kerry Stuart Coppin

Materia Oscura / Dark Matter

When the national media addresses issues of race, particularly in regards to the African-American experience, it often addresses only those large urban North American communities, such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, largely ignoring the rural Black experience. This awareness sent Kerry Stuart Coppin on an expedition to document and depict a community that has largely been invisible. Coppin's work focuses on the lives and experiences from those persons of African ancestry in western countries outside of North America but who have a shared history of slavery and social, political, and economic oppression.

The photographs featured in this exhibit were from his trips to Dakar, Senegal, as a means of contextualizing images for his long-term documentary projects. From his travels through Latin America, the Caribbean, Egypt, and Cuba, he has constructed a framework for comparing the "Black African in exile" experience alongside North American Black communities, constructing a portrait of Black cultural life at the dawn of the new millennium.

In a generous gift from the artist, Coppin donated a portfolio of eight prints to Photomedia Center's permanent print collection.