Mood Ring: State of Georgia

In honor of Juneteenth, Atlanta-based artist Davion Alston shares his thoughts and photographs after documenting protests across Georgia since early May.

How does a memorial become a place-mat for gatherings during an era when social distance is strongly advised?

How do we disrupt the fetishization of memorials? Racial histories are attached to landmarks we perceive as memorials, such as Stone Mountain. How do we sever our relationship to the history of monuments so large?

How do space, form, a­­­­­nd objects symbolize the fallen?

I deeply miss  gatherings of my people. Though it took place before my time, I always dreamed of being the age I am now so I could go to Freaknik. But it was ended by police and politicians.

The last-to-close state. The first-to-open state. The largest Black community—being directly infected as we gather together to call for justice.

These photographs were taken in Atlanta, where I currently live, and in my hometown of Darien, Georgia, at protests against the murders of Ahmaud Arbery (Brunswick, GA), Breonna Taylor (Louisville, KY), George Floyd (Minneapolis, MN), Kendrick Johnson (Valdosta, GA) and Rayshard Brooks (Atlanta, GA).