The racial divide is as strong as ever in Elaine, creating a culture of silence and negligence for the black people who are living on the killing fields of their ancestors. My first visit in August 2020 was a lonely one until I found the basketball court. Kids of all ages shoot hoops and ride four-wheelers through loose gravel. It is the only place where they can be themselves freely. I was fortunate to be able to host a photography camp at The Elaine Legacy Center last summer. Giving these kids the tools and agency to represent themselves is empowering and can, hopefully, alter how this place exists to them. The town is currently constructing the Elaine Civil Rights Museum and I intend for our full body of work to solely exist there as an ever-evolving Archive.
Moving forward, I am focusing on collaboration while also making images that hold a more vocal stance on the inner politics, societal issues, and culture of Elaine. I am continuing the photography camp in July and will be consistently traveling to Elaine for a very long time as the town enters a new chapter in its fight for land reparations.
Trent Bozeman is a lens-based artist based in Northwest Arkansas. Coming from a journalism background, he is interested in how black history is reshaped, documented, and preserved. Combatting the erasure of black legacies and histories has long been a recurring theme in his projects. His current photographic work is based in the Arkansas Delta in the small town of Elaine, Arkansas. His past ongoing work explores Gullah sea island communities, specifically Wadmalaw Island, where his family is from, and the memories that continue to prolong their cultural significance.