An exhibition of black and white photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe that she began to take in 1977 documenting the people and culture of Daufuskie Island. This is the last of the Seas Islands where vibrant African and African-American traditions were still practiced only to be recently lost to real estate development and tourism. These photos reveal life in a dwindling community of African American people whose families have lived in these islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia since before the Civil War. The images evoke the shadows of change and the uncertainty that the islanders felt about development—their need for jobs, and the inevitable losses that would follow in the wake of the Island’s transformation. Moutoussamy-Ashe’s images convey joy and dignity, while they challenge our understanding of documentary photography. Since these photographs were taken, properties have been sold, golf courses were built, and oyster fishing has vanished.
This exhibition is generously sponsored by Bank of America.