Culture & Communication
In 2014, Nina Robinson traveled to Dalark, Arkansas to document her grandmother’s passing and her family’s grieving process. She soon became engrossed in the often overlooked rural African American communities surrounding Dalark, communities whose members are mostly working and middle class landowners. Her visit soon turned into a two-year project, Not Forgotten: An Arkansas Family Album.
Ms. Robinson’s family has a storied history in Arkansas extending back six generations. In her photos, the viewer witnesses the passing of older members as traditions are preserved and handed down to the young. The photographer has extensively documented the many gatherings, celebrations and reunions–at churches and a once segregated local high school–that serve as anchors for Dalark’s Black community.
Not Forgotten: An Arkansas Family Album is a unique and intimate exploration of loss, love and tradition in a rarely seen rural Black community.
Nina Robinson is a documentary and portrait photographer based in the South Bronx and Arkansas. In her work, Robinson examines issues in underrepresented communities, aiming to break the visual prejudices of race, class and age. She has been published in The New York Times, was named one of Time Magazine’s “Instagram Photographers to Follow in All 50 States” and has exhibited at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Robinson teaches a phototherapy program at the William Hodson Senior Center, where, through the use of photography, older residents are able to openly explore personal and social issues. She is a member of the Bronx Photo League, a collective of documentary photographers in the South Bronx.
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Aunt Jean stairs off admiring the view of a hidden lake, Joan, Arkansas.
Grandma was in excruciating pain and could barely breathe, but asked to hold my hand and for me to pray over her. This was the second night of my arrival. My grandma passed away a week later, Dalark, Arkansas.
Albert and Gracie Neal pose for a portrait during the Sparkman Training School’s reunion church service, Sparkman, Arkansas. Sparkman Training School was an all black segregated school every two years classmates come back to celebrate the school’s legacy.