This week we are getting ready for, Reframed ' A Meeting of the Eyes' - a conversation on art, photography and music featuring the talented Emari Traffie, Dana Washington, Alima Lee, Sophia Nahli Allison - hosted by Gia Azevedo and moderated by Miriha.
Here we learn more about photographer and visual storyteller Dana Washington.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Orange County with my siblings. We were typically part of a handful of Black kids in the classrooms there. Misplacement was a real thing in and outside of the O.C.. In High School though, I remember my twin sister's friend picking us up with N.E.R.D's In Search Of... blaring so loud out the car window. That album resonated with me so much in regards to creative thought and self-esteem.
My first tastes of Los Angeles as a kid came with commutes to Inglewood for church. Over the past six years, my work as an artist has been centered in Los Angeles. Currently, I'm packing up my life and moving it to La Jolla, California to start grad school for fine arts.
What creative mediums are you into the most?
Anything visual. Tangible. Filmmaking, photography, digital media, installation, creative writing. Cooking food. I love cooking.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Experiencing everyday life is enough to pull from; book reading, studying static and moving images gets my imagination in motion.
Any upcoming projects or collaborations that you are excited about?
I'm working on transforming autobiographical stories to short films. These stories pinpoint my interrogation with death-breath-love, and when an 8-year-old me claimed a part of her identity.
What does community mean to you?
What's currently on rotation?
Charles Mingus The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady & D'Angelo Brown Sugar.
Dream collab – who /what would it be?
Not collaborations per se, but to study under cinematographer Bradford Young and film director Kahlil Joseph.
Any advice for someone trying to pursue their passions?
It is so beautiful when you tell your own stories and guide the narrative with honesty and accuracy.
What do you hope for the future?
...That the Black body, that Blackness isn't considered a threat to America... white American fragility.
Lastly, what are you looking forward to the most for the upcoming Reframed 'A Meeting of the Eye's panel discussion?
I'm looking forward to speaking from the heart, from experience. Most importantly, listening to and learning from the other panelists' experiences in the industry.
Follow Dana on Instagram