“Can I Get A Witness grew out of my outrage and sorrow of seeing Michael Brown dead in the street on August 9th. He lived in Ferguson, MO where my Grandmother, aunt and cousin do. He was shot multiple times by a police officer, murdered in cold blood, disregarded and thrown out as trash, his body laying in the street for hours, an event that deeply and profoundly affected me.
Seeing tear gas discharged onto American citizens, the beatings, shootings with rubber bullets, the flash bangs, the batons striking and the presence of dogs was a travesty of massive proportion unseen since the brutality of the Civil Rights Era. The people of this community and country marching and speaking out against the murder of its young were brutally punished by its paid protective force. That event in Ferguson triggered the memory of all the many, many, many cases country wide where youth and adults, especially black and brown people have been killed by policing forces. We have had enough.
My artistic practice is one of documentation, communication, traversing landscapes and speaking about my surroundings. This terrible event, along with the many before and after are part of my landscape, part of my DNA, and the call to action, to work together as a community to challenge these violent events is being illuminated and shouted out for all to bare witness to. Our collective witnessing is what is shifting our landscape.”
- Nafis White
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