Genie Austin, Hair combing © 2002

Genie Austin

February 2 – March 3, 2004
New York Public Library – Edenwald Branch in the Bronx
1255 East 233rd Street at DeReimer Avenue
Bronx, NY 10466

Genie Austin, born and raised in Barbados, explores her West Indian heritage as it translates to living in the Unites States. She states, “everything that I was before moving here became reduced to the signifier ‘black’ and I was dismissed to the margins of American society.”

Her project, Mirror Image, grew out of conversations with fellow West Indians about their experience. She states “it explores and documents the multifarious nature of the West Indian immigrant experience. I have focused specifically on West Indians living in Brooklyn, New York, because this is the entry point for many West Indians who either settle here or move on to other areas of the country. I see my project as a mirror image for the community, showing the richness and complexity of our lives and helping to redefine our identities and relationships with our adopted society.”

Austin is currently completing her MFA in Photography and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She earned a Bachelor degree in English Literature from the University of the West Indies in Barbados; and a Certificate in French Language and Civilization at L’Alliance Française. She has received the Aaron Siskind Grant in 2004. Her teaching experience includes Bronx River Art Center and Fannie Lou Hamer High School in the Bronx and the School of Visual Arts in New York City.