Who Tells Our Stories: A Photo Series Explanation

I was inspired to create a photo series on my Instagram that features diverse readers holding books that represent their identities (e.g. ethnicities, sexualities, race, gender, body types, MIs, disabilities, religions, etc.) in a positive light. I wanted to create this series in order to highlight the need for diversity in literature. I also wanted to show others how diverse novels can positively impact someone who finally feels represented in a way that doesn’t use harmful cliches or stereotypes. 

Each photo, in this on-going series, will include an interview with the reader to discuss the need for diversity in literature and how the reader identifies with the piece of literature they have chosen (if they feel comfortable disclosing that piece of information).

I came up with the title Who Tells Our Stories for the photo series because it is a spin-off of the Hamilton lyric “Who tells your story”. Because the Hamilton is such a diverse form of art, I wanted my photo series to reference that striking lyric because we need diverse authors to tell diverse stories in a respectful way. Marginalized readers should be able to see themselves properly represented in literature, and I hope this photo series highlights that need to others.

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