On "The Golden Age," with Alanna Airitam and Kirsten Imani Kasai

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​ ​ ​ ​ Portraits of Alanna Airitam and Kirsten Imani Kasai, courtesy of the artist and author
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5:30 p.m. Sept. 15, 2022

Photographer Alanna Airitam and author Kirsten Imani Kasai discuss the experience of being photographed as a subject for The Golden Age and the dynamics of race, identity, belonging, and colorism as it pertains to this photographic series as well as their independent works of art and literature.

The conversation will be held in the Center Galleries. Seating for this event will be limited and on a first-come basis.

About Alanna Airitam. Questioning generalized stereotypes and the lack of fair representation of Black people in art spaces has led photographer Alanna Airitam to research critical historical omissions and how those contrived narratives represent and influence succeeding generations. Her portraits, selfportraits, and vanitas still life photography in series such as The Golden Age, Crossroads, White Privilege, Colonized Foods, Ghosts, and individual works such as Take a Look Inside and How to Make a Country ask the viewer to question the stories of history and heritage we were taught to believe. Alanna was named on the 2021 Silver List as one of 47 exciting contemporary photographers to follow. She is a 2020 San Diego Art Prize winner and recipient of the 2020 Michael Reichmann Project Grant Award. Her photographs have been exhibited at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, Art Miami with Catherine Edelman, San Diego Art Institute, Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia, Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver, and Candela Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. Her work has been acquired for the Virginia Museum of Fine Art’s permanent collection and three prints from The Golden Age were recently added to the Center for Creative Photography’s permanent collection. Airitam is a Board Member and led workshops and mentorships for Oakwood Arts. She is also elected Board Member for Medium Photo and was the Juror of the 2021 Black Photographers Scholarship Program for Medium Photo. Born in Queens, New York, Airitam now resides in Tucson, Arizona.

About Kirsten Imani Kasai. A Gothic Research Studies Ph.D. candidate at Manchester Metropolitan University, Kirsten Imani Kasai celebrates literature as a change agent that pushes us out of our comfort zones to unmake or mend us. She is the author of three novels: The House of Erzulie (2018, Shade Mountain Press) a Gothic tale set in 1850s New Orleans, and the speculative fiction series Ice Song (2009, Random House) and Tattoo (2011, Random House). She has taught creative writing, literature, editing, and publishing workshops at San Diego State University and Southern New Hampshire University. According to Foreword Reviews, “Kirsten makes the macabre beautiful.” Visit her online at KirstenImaniKasai.com.