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Thriving and Potential, Displaced (Again and Again and...)

Njideka Akunyili Crosby Nigerian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 508

Njideka Akunyili Crosby's work begins with a layer of photographic transfers. Her design for this gallery's verdant backdrop combines images of the 1856 hand-drawn survey map of Seneca Village and nineteenth-century ambrotype portraits of Black New Yorkers, which are then juxtaposed with more contemporary images from the African diaspora. Overlaying this imagery is the lush foliage of an okra plant, a crop with nourishing power and potent symbolism. Originating in sub-Saharan West Africa and carried across the sea during the Middle Passage, okra embodies not only that brutal displacement but also the multitude of culinary and cultural traditions that have endured and thrived on American shores.

Thriving and Potential, Displaced (Again and Again and...), Njideka Akunyili Crosby (Nigerian, born Enugu, 1983), Inkjet print on vinyl.

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