Oklahoma by Rahim Fortune. Self-Published.
I have no idea where Oklahoma is on the map. But, I realize that the world depicted in Rahim Fortune’s Oklahoma Volumes 1 and 2 is not that far away from mine.
There is a sparseness, not limited to the barren fields on which the animals graze, that feels hauntingly familiar. Death seems to linger in the air, not in a macabre sense, but as a dying wish for a new life, for more living. A woman rests her back against a tombstone with the name Carmen etched into it. Even beyond the grave, Carmen's love continues to uplift this family. Home offers some solace. The smiling faces in the family’s old snapshots remind us that joy can be audacious; it belongs here in Rahim’s Oklahoma. Outside, everything seems to suggest and attract impending and systemic erasure: a sign reads "Welcome to Oklahoma, Native America."
As I write, a drove of donkeys bray incessantly outside my window. In the unseen protagonist’s line of sight, a man steps forward with one of theirs on a leash. I recognize the man's gait. And I know without seeing his face that it is stoic. Within that same frame, a little girl — the girl next door — radiates hope. She will come to know greener pastures. So will they. And so will I.
Kacey Jeffers is a photographer from the Caribbean island of Nevis whose work fuses elements of portraiture, fashion and documentary photography to tell stories that are imbued with sensitivity and authenticity. His first book Uniform, features portraits of Nevisian youth in their school uniforms.
Currently located in Nevis.