Lesly Deschler Canossi and Zoraida Lopez-Diago's edited volume Black Matrilineage, Photography, and Representation: Another Way of Knowing (Leuven UP, 2022) questions how the Black female body, specifically the Black maternal body, navigates interlocking structures that place a false narrative on her body and that of her maternal ancestors. Drawing on a wide range of scholarly inquiry and contemporary art, this book addresses these misconceptions and fills in the gaps that exist in the photographic representation of Black motherhood, mothering, and mutual care within Black communities.
The essays and interviews, paired with a curated selection of images, address the complicated relationship between Blackness and photography and in particular its gendered dimension, its relationship to health, sexuality, and digital culture - primarily in the context of racialized heteronormativity. This collection, then, challenges racist images and discourses, both historically and in its persistence in contemporary society, while reclaiming the innate brilliance of Black women through personal stories, history, political acts, connections to place, moments of pleasure, and communal celebration.
This visual exploration of Black motherhood through pictures made by Black woman-identifying photographers thus serves as a reflection of the past and a portal to the future and contributes to recent scholarship on the complexity of Black life and Black joy.
This book emerges from the project Women Picturing Revolution.