Harlem-born, LA-based artist and educator Mandy Harris Williams wants us to think more critically about how we use social media: “How can we make our feeds reflect and augment the sort of world that we, especially now, need to be working hard to create?”
The realisation that people seemed to follow and curate images of white people on Instagram led Williams to start #BrownUpYourFeed, a campaign for digital diversity. “The idea has kind of run ahead of me and become an actionable directive to diversify (your) feed, especially attending to those who are more dark-skinned or indigenous or native looking,” Williams explains.
In her multi-medium art practice (shown online, through film, and in gallery shows), Williams interrogates power imbalances on the internet and in media culture. In “Portals”, a short documentary, she focuses on black femme artists, activists, and musicians speaking on how they are making space for themselves and their work. “I’m inspired by having tough and deeply critical and honest conversations about what we see as deserving of attention, recognition, love, and value,” Williams says. “And how we can use our attention, in this information economy, to make real change.”