Scarborough-based artist Anthony Gebrehiwot is interested in how photography can be used as a tool for social change. His recent image-based work has developed as a response to the dehumanizing and objectifying portrayals of Black people that are widespread in North American media and perpetuate systemic anti-Black racism. The artist re-visions these representations by creating affecting, empathetic photographic works that invite his viewers to experience emotional resonances with his subjects. His portraits are thoughtful and tender, a reflection of his deep commitments to his community.
Ebb and Flows, 2019, is part of From Boys to Men: The Road to Healing, 2020, a series that challenges stereotypes of Black masculinity by showing men in intimate and sometimes vulnerable poses. Here, a young man floats on his back in a pool of water. With his ears submerged and eyes closed, he places his trust in the water’s ability to refresh the body and relax the mind. This meditative image speaks to Gebrehiwot’s interest in exploring the importance of vulnerability for healing from trauma and creating new ways of both living and perceiving contemporary Black masculinity.