WHERE IT'S GOING
Words by The Dear Noah Team - Photography by Christian Fregran
26th November 2020
Can you believe this is November already and that 2020 is closing in 1 month? The countdown has already started. We have already seen people preparing their objectives of 2021.
But, what about a sum up of 2020?
2020 has been the year we did not expect, to say the least, and we went through a lot - so many emotions, feelings and hardships.
Journaling has been a big outlet this year for many of us as a way to live with our emotions but also to leave our feelings on a page, acknowledging them to be more comfortable with them.
In June 2020, this is what we asked Black Womxn across the world: tell us what 2020 is for you, share with the world how you want it to be remembered, how you see it through your very own prism and most of all, how this year can serve the next generation, the children of today, the adults tomorrow.
As of now, we have received 27 letters from womxn accepting to take part of this deeply personal and vulnerable practice. They are living in France, UK, US, Germany, Australia, Zambia, Benin, Ivory Coast and Tunisia. Our aim is to share the stories of 40 Black Womxn. A number which is a symbol of this year - 20 + 20 = 40. A way to amplify this year of 2020 with 40 unique and authentic perspectives.
The vast majority of these Womxn are Millenial Black Womxn and this is purposeful. This generation is a pivotal generation for us. The generation of the middle, between our parents and Gen Z. The Millenial Black Womxn are a generation which did not fully grow up with Internet (yes, you are going to mention MSN Messenger but before that?), which grew up in a time when representation was even scarcer than it is now, a time where spaces of vulnerability where still not a common place for Black Womxn and a time when ‘nappy’ was not be celebrated. Fast forward to 2020 and we have grown towards more visibility, diversity, representation and mental health focus. Of course, there is still work to do but this is moving in the right direction. We strongly believe that empowering, celebrating (and ‘healing’) the Millennial Black Womxn is synonymous with empowering the children of tomorrow.
Another HUGE part of the project are the contributing artists, the creators who have shared their unique vision, talents, skills, crafts, brushes, pencils, lenses, words to highlight and document 2020. Some artists created bespoke pieces and other artists submitted pieces they consider were relevant for the project. They offer through their art a unique perspective on 2020 based on both their respective talent and their current location. They are living in UK, US, Germany, France, Danemark, Serbia and Colombia.
For us, this year is about allyship. Whilst all the womxn who wrote the letters are identifying as Black, the race of the artists is not something we consider for this project. What was defining for us is for Black Children & Womxn to look at the artists’ work and to feel empowered, celebrated, represented, loved and seen.
We are both humbled, grateful and proud to have worked with all these womxn and artists this year. This project would not be if it was not for you. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU.
We also wanted to note that whilst this project is centered around children, we wanted to create a safe space around motherhood AND the non-desire of motherhood. We strongly believe that both choices are deeply, truly personal and should be celebrated and respected equally.
Leaving you with the words of Pray Tell: “A house is much more than a home. It's family. And every family needs a mother who is affirming, caring, loyal, and inspiring.” — Pray Tell about Blanca Evangelista in Pose FX, Mother of The Year. Mothers, same as per family, are sometimes elected and not given, but what defines them is the care and the love. And that’s what matters to us. Team Blanca Evangelista, always.
We are proud to introduce DEAR NOAH in December. We will share letters, interviews and the works of the contributing artists throughout this last month of year 2020 and beyond. We hope you will like it.
The Dear Noah Team
Christian Fregnan is an Italian artist and photographer based in Maastricht, NL. He is also the co-founder of Atelier Maas, a brand which produces minimalist handmade leather accessories.
/ IG @christianfregnan