In a series of poetic images, Brazilian photographer Thassio Dias celebrates blackness. Titled “Brown is the New Black,” the pictures feature four models – Nathalia do Amaral, Joyce Almeida, Tamara Senna, and Anderson Machado – dressed in sand-colored tones. The full collection of images lives on the São Paulo-based photographer’s Facebook page. But the few photos that made their way onto Instagram are characterized by one word: melanina.
As AfroPunk points out, Dias’ photos highlight the diversity of the black community. The photographer doesn’t provide any details for this series, but around the world, people can find something to connect to with these models who pose in a park, in front of a door, and in front of clouds, Nothing Was the Same style.
This latest series is part of ongoing project Fotopoetizando, where Dias combines his two faves: photography and poetry. He’s used this platform to regularly highlight people of color. Before sharing “Brown is the New Black,” he posted images from “Ocupação Preta + Fotopoetizando.” Teaming up with Gabriel Hilair, the photos make a strong statement about unity. “We, as black people, need to make a commitment to all [black people], because the victory of one black person is our victory, but the pain of another black person is also ours,” Hilair wrote. “When there’s no longer any words to express our feelings after seeing our brothers suffer, and at the same time, when we see the look of satisfaction in their eyes after achieving a goal. When we can no longer bear the heartache that we feel for our hurting brothers or the immeasurable joy that takes over our bodies when a black person achieves something that we will never achieve because we are imprisoned daily by the shackles of racism. All that’s left is empowerment, the tie that binds our brotherhood and that will serve as our lucky charm and the necessary weapon to protect one another and to protect us from the world.”
At a time when the black community the black community is reeling, and police violence and the threat of white supremacy continues to shake up our world, these words and photos are necessary. Check out 10 striking images from both series below.