Rebecca Arthur grew up in Syracuse, NY and graduated from New York University with a BFA in Photography in 2018. Her work explores themes of family, identity and home through the lens of race and how Blackness exists under the scope of different perceptions and across borders. She was awarded the Gordon Parks Foundation Scholarship two years in a row and was recently a recipient of the 2019 Keystone Award from the Silver Eye Center for Photography. As of September 2019, she has been completing a Fulbright-Harriet Hale Woolley Fellowship in Paris, France photographing Afro-descendant people to begin discourse about identity and race and how it functions in comparison to her own experience of being a Black American.
"I am a storyteller. My work is personal and focuses on the themes of family, identity and home. Currently, I am working on a project that focuses on telling stories of identity through the gaze of Afro-descendant people in France. By opening myself to others’ stories and making photographs, I’ve come to develop new ways of having cross-continental discourse about understanding how we identify ourselves and others.
As a Black American, my Black identity has always been at the forefront of how I present myself to the world and my 'Blackness' has continuously been the subject of my photographs. During my time in France I noticed the difference in the way the French apprehend identity compared to Americans. As a result, my identity has been shattered and reshaped.
Throughout our history, many stories of Black people and families have been lost in archives - never to be seen or mislabeled to conceal something. I’ve come to recognize the importance of documenting and preserving our history, stories and physical affective gazes. Through dialogue and photographical storytelling, I want to understand the dichotomy between the ways race and identity function cross-culturally and gather an idea of how descendants connect or disconnect us from our sense of self and belonging."