Azhae'la Hanson (Xavier University)

My passion for photography arose from a desire to challenge the media’s unfavorable portrayal of Black communities. I never saw my community represented in a positive way where I grew up in North Minneapolis, Minnesota, and that reflected how I felt about my own home. When I arrived in New Orleans, a city I was unfamiliar with, I recognized the similar pattern and went on my own to explore the neighborhoods. As a photographer, I strive to capture and exhibit photographs of us that do not depict trauma. Through my project, A Walk in New Orleans, I aim to capture images where we may simply exist in the joyous or tranquil moments that we have in our communities.