Heather Lynch

Culture is like the fabric of a family, woven together through shared experiences, traditions, and values. However, for many young black women like myself, their cultural fabric has been corrupted by the media, which has become a dominant force in shaping their worldview. From early cinema to modern-day social media, black people are constantly bombarded with images of tragedy, violence, and oppression. While it is essential to highlight the struggles in the African American experience, an excess of this can be counterproductive. It can create a distorted image of one’s sense of self and their place in the world and often limit their foreseen potential. This is why it is crucial to challenge the harmful narratives perpetuated by the media and instead showcase the beauty of blackness in all its forms. In this, I wish to transport the viewers out of this tragic reality and into another realm. One free of the collective entrapment in white mythologies, where their wildest dreams and desires are tangible.

The combination of tulle and cowrie shells in the images creates a powerful and evocative symbol of maternal connection and femininity. Cowrie shells have been long associated with fertility, femininity, and protection in many cultures, while tulle acts as a representation of the womb, suggesting that the subjects are being protected and nurtured in a safe and sacred space. Using this layered symbol, I invite viewers to contemplate the importance of taking action in their own lives and communities to protect, honor, and empower black women and create a new cultural fabric that empowers them to embrace their unique identities and see themselves as the powerful and beautiful beings that they truly are.


Heather Lynch is a photographer and filmmaker born and raised in New York City. She has always been passionate about using her camera to empower those around her and deeply understands the complexities of beauty and representation. As a first-generation Trinidadian American living in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, Heather draws from her own experiences to honor her subjects using her sacred lens to create a space where they are free of stereotypes and can create their own identities. She is committed to shifting the misrepresentation of marginalized communities, starting with those in her community. Her work is characterized by a deep empathy for her subjects and a commitment to representing them in a way that is authentic and empowering.