Last August, members of the Black Lives Matter movement began the #TransLiberationTuesday campaign with a series of coordinated protests meant to bring attention to the incredibly high rates of murder among Black trans women.
Nine weeks ago, White trans artist Micah Bazant started a weekly portrait project in support of the campaign. Bazant, who uses the pronoun "they" and has long used art as a tool for social change, began their project in February of this year. Each Tuesday, they release a new portrait via social media. Some are created by Bazant in collaboration with the person featured, and they include quotes or biographical details about the subject of the portrait. Others, including this week’s installment (pictured below), are created by guest artists. "The art aims to support, celebrate, and honor trans people of color in life, not just in memoriam,” Bazant says.
All of the images send powerful messages of resilience and representation. Bazant emphasizes how the process of making art is also key to its role in social change: "I’m always trying to hone my process of ethical collaboration, honor the beauty and spirit of people I work with, and create positive cultural and material change through art. These images and words are chosen with and approved by the people portrayed and/or their direct support teams (if they are incarcerated.)"
They also seek to connect these images to opportunities to take action. "The portrait of Christina Lopez helped raise the final urgent funds to meet her bond and free her from immigrant detention," Bazant shares on their website. "The portrait of Rickie Blue-Sky generated 650+ signatures to support his release on parole."
You can see many of the images created so far on Bazant’s website, or follow them on Facebook or Instagram. Some of the prints are available for purchase, with proceeds supporting stipends for the participants and guest artists.