Ongoing Exhibition: "In Conditions of Fresh Water"
"In Conditions of Fresh Water" is an exhibition that explores environmental racism, based on a collaborative documentary research project by artist Torkwase Dyson, attorney/environmental scientist Danielle Purifoy, and residents of two North Carolina and Alabama counties. Black towns and communities in Alamance (NC) and Lowndes (AL) Counties date back to the post-Civil War era, when free blacks across the South and beyond established places of their own to distance themselves from white terrorism and to build their own economic, social, and political institutions. The land on which they settled was often undesirable to white property interests. Many of these communities still lack access to viable wastewater infrastructure, threatening residents' health, local water quality, and capacity for future economic development. Grassroots activists in both counties continue fighting to attain these basic services in the 21st century. During the summer of 2016, Dyson and Purifoy worked and traveled in Studio South Zero, a mobile solar-powered artist workspace built by Dyson with recycled materials, conducting interviews and documenting these historic Black communities. The resulting art-photographs, drawings, paintings, and writing-was inspired by these places and their people, histories, power struggles, and victories. Community partners for Dyson and Purifoy's work include the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise and the West End Revitalization Association.