Article by Tyler Harris
Video by Krysis Sabater
“When Living in Protest” is an art gallery in Silber Gallery in the Athenaeum that features 33 images photographed by Jamaican-born photographer and alumni Ruddy Roye ’98. From a vivid perspective, Roye documents the riveting and realistic look on inner-city life and being black in America from each visual narrative. Accordingly, the idea behind this project came from his feeling of anger and invisibility during his time in poverty 9 years ago which inspired him to document the lives of people living in the projects. Roye even asserts that this is an “act of protest” against a “society that seeks to render them invisible”.
Not only did these pictures capture poverty in the inner city, it also documented the experience that each of the narratives had with moments within the black community such as #BlackLivesMatter movement with its protests against police brutality. Without being verbal, Roye goes deep by capturing a closer and brutally honest look at the lives of individuals who are affected by systematic oppression and marginalization on a daily basis. One picture called “Question”, shows a girl standing in the middle of a crowd of people, wearing a sign that says, “I hope that I don’t get killed for being black today”. Another image shows the picture of a grieving family (as it says in the title of the picture) of a Louisiana boy named Victor White who was killed in the hands of police, sitting on the front porch and wearing t-shirts with White on each of them.
Ruddy Roye’s project features brilliantly captured images and comes to show that you don’t need to be verbal to make a statement or convey a message, and he perfectly showed this by using photography.