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Artist ID: 2537

I believe that every person should have a proper photograph of themself. Looking through my family photo albums, I often wondered what stories are associated with the person I saw. What memories do they hold and where did they come from? Through medium format film photography, text, audio, and mixed media, my work explores the origin of who a person is, what stories they have to tell us and how to preserve them for future generations, specifically the LGBTQIA+ community in Alabama. The importance of oral storytelling and memories growing up drives my work to find out more about where a person comes from and what makes them who they are.

Joi West, (b. 1990, Birmingham, AL) is an American artist and photographer based in Birmingham, AL. Their work combines photography, audio, text, and printmaking to examine the relationship between families, the LGBTQIA+ community in the South, and the meaning behind Identity as it affects us on a personal level. They received their first camera at the age of four and hasn't put it down since. In 2012 Joi began their first long term project Southern Faces, documenting the LGBTQIA+ Community in Alabama, which is still ongoing.West's work is influenced by the work of noted photographers Lola Flash, Dawoud Bey, Jess T. Dugan, and Carrie Mae Weems. West received their BFA from The University of Alabama. Along with their other long term project Six Degrees of Family, which explores the context around both Blood and Chosen families, the running themes within their work are: Where are we? Who are we? What makes us uniquely us? How do we carry and pass down our memories with us through time?

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