ociele hawkins (b. 1990, Philadelphia) is a raised poor/underground economy, non-binary writer, photographer and political organizer, from Philadelphia, who holds as much hope as she does contradiction.
I write because dreadful feelings of loss and violence harbor the shores of my consciousness. My writing is autobiographical. Holding a mirror to reflect all that I find ugly within myself as an attempt to untangle confusion of self worth and dignity through distinguishing my feelings from reality.
My photography is constantly attempting to construct levity and joy with people. The photos I take are colorful, spontaneous and collaborative. Searching for reassurance of safety in the "in-between" moments where someone is posing and readjusting to pose again. Through my lens safety is defined flexibly as joy and play, quizzical looks and calm stoicism, as elation and obscurity. My photography is interested in finding the truth of a moment that is not wholly concerned with the camera. I am looking to interpret the experiences of others while simultaneously inviting them to be gloriously vain and unbridled while being watched.
With my work I am aiming to meet that dread, that grief, pain and fear directly, through introspective and creative memoir work and external expression through the perspective of others in front of the camera.
Both my writing and photography style is developing as a way to express a concept I have been considering: catastrophe visits us, we are not the catastrophe.