“I look up to Black women who aren’t afraid to die so I became a machine for dismembering fear,” writes Monilola Olayemi Ilupeju in her audacious autoportrait, Earnestly. Through Ilupeju’s writing, photographs, and paintings, we are taken into the place that is often denied existence: the interior life of the Black woman. A place that holds not just the friction of joy and pain but also confusion, desire, embarrassment, humor, anger, curiosity, orgasms, the grotesque, and the perseverance to be seen as one who contains multitudes. In other words, to be seen as a person. In Ilupeju’s sharp and specific recounting of her own personal history, I feel not only let in, but validated in my own experience as a Black femme person. Often, I am ashamed to admit that I am afraid to rest because of the nightmares that haunt me. Earnestly not only comforts my feelings of shame and terror, but reminds me that there is a way to find dreams once again.” Shala Miller
Archive Books, in collaboration with Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien
Monilola Olayemi Ilupeju
14 x 21 cm
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