Join us for Pérez Art Museum Miami's (PAMM) Live Studio Visits, a series that highlights local artists through virtual visits with PAMM curators. Get a first-hand look at the artists' work and practice through this intimate lens.
This month, artist Johanne Rahaman will join in conversation with PAMM Curator María Elena Ortiz to discuss how she uses photography and digital media as a tool to document Black communities throughout Florida. Compelled by a lack of nuance or positive representation of Black communities in media, Rahaman offers a snapshot of everyday moments, highlighting entrepreneurship, beauty, sensuality, aging, mortality, youth, and resilience, as she seeks to amplify the silenced and marginalized Black working class.
Johanne Rahaman is a Trinidadian-born, Miami-based documentary photographer, working in both film and digital formats since 2002. She is the founder of the ongoing documentary project, BlackFlorida, a living archive that examines shifting urban and rural spaces occupied by the Black communities throughout Florida. Rahaman started documenting communities in Florida that mirror her hometown—the Laventille Hills of Trinidad—offering a snapshot of everyday moments. Since 2014, she has covered over 40 communities from Key West to Jacksonville.
Rahaman's work has appeared in several media outlets, including New Yorker Magazine, Vogue, National Geographic, Hyperallergic, Slate, Jezebel, Huffington Post, Quartz Africa, Fusion Network, Miami NewTimes, Orlando Weekly, and on WLRN Miami and WMFE Orlando. She has been published in Oxford American, Photo District News, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Mfon: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. Rahaman has exhibited in group and solo shows in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Malaysia, Switzerland, and currently in the U.S. Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda. Rahaman is a 2018 Ellies Awardee, and a 2017 Knight Arts grantee. She has been nominated to the British Journal of Photography Ones To Watch, World Press Photo 6x6 Global Talent Program, and PDN 30.
María Elena Ortiz
María Elena Ortiz is a curator at PAMM, where she is spearheading the Caribbean Cultural Institute (CCI). At PAMM, Ortiz has organized several projects including The Other Side of Now: Foresight in Contemporary Caribbean Art (2019); Latinx Art Sessions (2019); william cordova: now's the time (2018); Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: A Universe of Fragile Mirrors (2016); Ulla von Brandenburg: It Has a Golden Sun and an Elderly Grey Moon (2017); Firelei Báez: Bloodlines (2015); and Carlos Motta: Histories for the Future (YEAR). Ortiz has contributed to writing platforms such as the Davidoff Art Initiative, Terremoto Magazine, and others. A recipient of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) and Independent Curators International (ICI) Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean, Ortiz's curatorial practice is informed by the connections between Latinx, Latin American, and Black communities in the US and the Caribbean.