Trying to See
Two weeks ago I was privileged to listen to two black women talk openly about the miasma of racism that seeps into their lives. You wear a padded jacket in cold weather into a shop and your movements will, without fail, be followed by store detectives. You always keep a receipt for a purchase. The spare seat next to your black husband will always be the last one filled by fellow commuters. Go into a clothes shop and your entry will always be clocked by the sales staff, whose looks will tell you bluntly: “You’re not welcome here.” And you’ll spend more than you planned, just to bite back.
A white man, I knew nothing of this. Why had I never seen this world my black friends live in? This photograph is some attempt at a response.