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Endurance

September 4, 2019

Singer-songwriter Kamara Thomas reflects on a photograph by Southbound artist Eliot Dudik. As part of our Call & Response series in conjunction with Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South, we’ve asked artists, writers, and poets to respond to a photograph of their choice in the form of short written pieces.

By Kamara Thomas

Eliot Dudik, Alligator Alley, Oregon Road, 2010

Eliot Dudik, Alligator Alley, Oregon Road, 2010. Eliot Dudik is a Lecturer in Photography at the College of William & Mary. His work in Southbound focuses on the changing landscape of South Carolina's Lowcountry and on the continued impact of the American Civil War by picturing battlegrounds and the people who devote themselves to reenacting the history that unfolded there. ON VIEW AT THE GREGG MUSEUM OF ART & DESIGN AT NC STATE.

Endurance

 
Black rubber tire leviathan
Snake inking under tar-bend

Ode to trees of swamp
Soaking, stinking of Styx and Acheron

White sky inviting blackness
And rusted penny paid to a psychopomp

Waters forgotten roadside
Waiting for Kharon

As Cypress awaits Heron

 

Listen as Kamara Thomas recites her poem:

Kamara ThomasKamara Thomas is a songspeller and multi-disciplinary storyteller based in Durham, NC. Her video “Good Luck America,” from her forthcoming album and storytelling work "Tularosa: An American Dreamtime," was featured at the 2019 Hayti Heritage Film Festival. Kamara was named one of the “14 Artists Proving Black Americana is Real” by Paste Magazine. She is currently working on "Country Soul Songbook," a musical documentary project exploring race and place in Country music.

Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South is presented by the Power Plant Gallery in collaboration with Duke’s Forum for Scholars and Publics and the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at North Carolina State University. In this iteration, guest curator Randall Kenan, author and NC native, organizes the many framed photographs of the exhibition around the twin themes of Flux, on display at the Power Plant Gallery, and Home, on display at the Gregg Museum. The full program of events includes slow tours, film screenings, “Sit + Chat” sessions, and FSP@PPG panel discussions that engage with the issues in and around the works of art and explore the topics, places, and styles of Southbound. Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South was organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts in Charleston, South Carolina, and curated by Mark Long and Mark Sloan. Visit the exhibit online at southboundproject.org.