Nona Faustine: Artist provocateur

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Nona Faustine

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My guest for the premier episode of MsRepresent's second season is Brooklyn-based photographer and artist, Nona Faustine. Her most recent photo series, White Shoes has garnered international attention and praise over the last few months. Nona and her photos have been featured in the Guardian, the Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, Artnet, Art for Change, and more. Since completing graduate studies in 2013, Nona's work had been widely exhibited in institutions such as the Schomburg Centre for Black Research in Harlem, New York, and the International Centre of Photography. I met with Nona in Flatbush, Brooklyn over the summer where she discussed White Shoes, the history of slavery in New York, why #blacklivesmatter, art, politics, and the tradition of strong womanhood in her family.


Photographer Nona Faustine was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts and the ICP-Bard MFA Program (2013). The heart of her work speaks to what it means to be a woman in the 21st century. Her practice focuses on history and folklore, with a concentrated interest in gender and identity politics. Captivated by two enslaved women from the 19th century, one in Paris and the other in the Antebellum South, lay the foundation for her current body of work. The White Shoes series are self-portraits taken in and around the places associated with New York's history of slavery. Faustine was selected by writer and curator Charlotte Cotton as a 2014 Honorable Mention in the Camera Club of New York Competition. Recently, her work has received press coverage from the Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, Greybook Magazine, Dodge and Burn Blog, the Camera Club of New York Blog, Lenscratch Fine Art Photography Daily, and PDN. Since graduating, her work has been exhibited widely, most notably in For Colored Girls at the Schomburg Centre for Black Research in Harlem, in 2014, Respond at Smack Mellon, and Take 10 at the International Centre of Photography in 2015.


Nona Faustine, Kaya Anderson, Kassiya Anderson, Jerrylyn Guevara, Ms. Goncalves, Andrew Sayo, and Eirene Cloma.

MsRepresent: Behind the Face, a Fierce Woman can also be found at

Intro/outro music:  Rainbow” by Emilie Simon. Remix from the original.

Additional music:  

"Guadalajara" performed by Mariachi Flor de Toloache.  

"Ya Me Voy Para Siempre" performed by Mariachi Flor de Toloache  

"Americana Jam" by The Underscore Orkestra.  

"A tua choradeira é meio salário em lenços" by Stealing Orchestra & Rafael Dionísio. Remix from the original.  

"I Guess So" by Steve Combs. Remix from the original.  

"Charmed Life" by Adam Selzer. Remix from the original.  

"General Mixup March" by the Arthur Pryors Band. Remix from the original.

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