Alanna Airitam | Putting Flowers Back In The Ground

Photographer Alanna Airitam and I have a fabulous conversation about how she left the corporate world, taught herself photography, and how it may have saved her life. We talk about Alanna’s breakout work, The Golden Age, and the process by which anger, frustration, and responding to injustice inspires her to make beautiful and important imagery.
The Golden Age is showing at the Center for Creative Photography starting April 2022. Link below.
This episode is sponsored by the Charcoal Book Club, a monthly subscription service for photobook enthusiasts. Working with the most respected names in contemporary photography, Charcoal selects and delivers essential photobooks to a worldwide community of collectors. Each month, members receive a signed, first-edition monograph and an exclusive print to add to their collections.
Questioning generalized stereotypes and the lack of fair representation of Black people in art spaces has led photographer Alanna Airitam to research critical historical omissions and how those contrived narratives represent and influence succeeding generations. Her portraits, self-portraits, and vanitas still life photography in series such as The Golden Age, Crossroads, White Privilege, Colonized Foods, Ghosts, and individual works such as Take a Look Inside and How to Make a Country ask the viewer to question the stories of history and heritage we were taught to believe.
Alanna was named on the 2021 Silver List as one of 47 exciting contemporary photographers to follow. She is a 2020 San Diego Art Prize winner and recipient of the 2020 Michael Reichmann Project Grant Award. Her photographs have been exhibited at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, Art Miami with Catherine Edelman, San Diego Art Institute, Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia, Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver, and Candela Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. Her work has been acquired for the Virginia Museum of Fine Art’s collection and three prints from The Golden Age were recently added to the Center for Creative Photography’s permanent collection. Airitam has been elected Board Member and led workshops and mentorships for Oakwood Arts and a Board Member for Medium Photo she was the Juror of the 2021 Black Photographers Scholarship Program for Medium Photo, and a Curator/Juror for the MFA Photography Reviews. Born in Queens, New York, Airitam now resides in Tucson, Arizona.