Greetings from Allensworth
An interactive photo booth commissioned for DEMO2023, a new festival created by NEW INC, the New Museum's incubator for art, design, and technology.
Settled in 1908, the town of Allensworth is a once Black utopia in California's Central Valley and the state’s first town to be founded, financed, and governed by Black Americans. Today, Allensworth's rich history has been preserved as a California State Historic Park and a dedicated community of activists are working to ensure the town rises again.
Drawing from the artist's ancestral connections to the town, Greetings from Allensworth engages with the tradition of studio portraiture as a site of spatial fantasy. A backdrop depicting images of Allensworth from Keko Jackson's book project Restored/Access conjures a collapse of geographic space, allowing subjects to be photographed within the distant scenery of the San Joaquin Valley. Materials that echo tourism motifs orient visitors to the history rooted in the landscape.
The project is part of a larger, ongoing body of work Ariana is developing about the Black experience In the Central Valley. Subscribe to receive project updates about her research journey.
Staying Power is a print and online publishing platform dedicated to amplifying a people's history of public housing. The project uses visual and archival strategies to expand and transform narratives about public housing, bridging the distance between stories that are widely told about public housing and the lived experiences of residents.
In February 2022, Staying Power celebrated the launch of it's first zine publication which coalesces resident interviews and research conducted between 2019-2021. Zine content can also be explored online at stayingpower.zone.
Volume I of Staying Power was possible with support from The Laundromat Project's 2019 and 2020 Create Change Artist-in-Residence program, FABnyc, and the 2021 Pioneer Works Technology Residency.
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project
The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project is a research and digital media collective documenting displacement and crafting tools for resistance in solidarity with gentrifying communities.
Ariana is a founding member of AEMP's New York City chapter and helped produce Black Exodus (pictured left), a multi-platform publication that documents the displacement and resistance of Black San Franciscans through oral histories and community stories.
Build your World: Tech Tools for Community Action
Developed and facilitated curriculum for Eyebeam's 2021 Digital Design Day Camp, an intensive, multi-week, youth arts and technology program for NYC high school students.
The course, Visual Activism: Using Data to Shape Change, invited students to explore the work of artists and technologists who creatively use data to surface hidden histories and build community power. Participants explored different approaches to data collection and visualization and created their own graphs and diagrams using ready-at-hand data.
Voces de Fillmore
This documentary traces the memories and experiences of families living on one block in South Williamsburg, a Brooklyn neighborhood that is affectionately known by long time residents as Southside or Los Sures. In the past decade, Southside’s Latinx and working class population has steadily decreased from seventy to forty-five percent, in part due to gentrification in New York City. In this film, Puerto Rican families who have lived and raised children in Los Sures for several decades talk about their quest to preserve a sense of community in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.
Directors: Ariana Allensworth, Teresa Basilio, Regina Eaton
Producer: Third World Newsreel Workshop
2015, 19 minutes