Arianna Williams

It's Generational.

Through merging aspects of things old and things new, there is the creation of what can be learned and found in the in-between spaces. Throughout these images, I explore what intergenerational blackness looks like for me, through crafting sceneries that personify this. I present things like archival photos and objects from my life, all within the same setting of things that I have created recently. From images of my mom and family from years before I was even born, to hairbrushes and combs that I remember ripping through my hair as a young child. I represent the blackness that has been passed down to me, mainly through the juxtaposition of a staged setting with either a harsh spotlight or elements of collaging. I chose to layer and collage as a way of reinforcing this message as many times as I can. This project has allowed me the opportunity to create physical depictions like the images radiating the energy of my mom and me. Looking forward, I wish to explore more - like what it would look like to explore beyond immediate family. 


Arianna Williams is a teen activist and organizer based in NYC. As a photographer and filmmaker, she has dedicated her art to creating spaces and telling stories that are often misrepresented or disregarded in mainstream media. Arianna has participated in various programs in Teen Academy at the International Center of Photography and is a current participant in their yearlong Imagemakers program. They have had films accepted into a variety of film festivals. In 2020, her film It Felt Like I’d Known Her Forever received the Audience Award at the Girl Improved Film and Theatre Festival (GIFT Fest). Throughout her work, she explores common themes of growth, self reflection within different spaces, and the elaborate interconnections between herself and those around her. Her collection of photographs range from exploring the impact of police brutality as a lurking, “big brother” force to looking into what it would be like to sit back and ask NYC for advice; simply through making photos. They are inspired by the work of boundary breaking artists like Frida Khalo, Spike Lee, and her mom.