Dawoud Bey, The Birmingham Project: Mathes Manafee and Cassandra Griffin, 2012

Images of Dawoud Bey, The Birmingham Project: Mathes Manafee and Cassandra Griffin

Two framed black-and-white portraits are placed side by side. The left photograph captures a young woman with short, curly black hair sitting in a church pew. The other photograph shows an older woman with graying dreadlocks sitting in a near identical pew.
Dawoud Bey, American, b. 1953
The Birmingham Project: Mathes Manafee and Cassandra Griffin, 2012
Archival pigment prints mounted on Dibond
Diptych, each sheet: 40 × 32 in. (101.6 × 81.3 cm)
Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Restricted gift of Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida, and Mary and Earle Ludgin by exchange, 2014.8.a-b
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

About

Dawoud Bey’s The Birmingham Project looks back on the 1963 bombing of an African American church in Birmingham, Alabama, an act of racial terrorism that killed four young girls: Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins, and Carole Robertson.

The Birmingham Museum of Art invited photographer Bey to comment on the 50th anniversary of the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church by the Ku Klux Klan. Shot at the Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, these photographs are from a series of paired portraits, each depicting two generations of current Birmingham residents. The girl on the left is the same age as the victims of the bombing in 1963; the woman on the right is the age that they would be today.