16 x 20 silver gelatin print
United States of America
Video stills from THE RETURN OF BLACK SHAMUS
story by Rhasaan Oyasaba Manning
cinematography by Tyrone Brown-Osborne
The PANOPTICON series is an old tale in many ways. It is a recurring nightmare of mine. My fear of being accused of a crime I did not commit is the genesis of the character Black Shamus. The resulting fiction of PANOPTICON addresses my primal fears: the fear of surveillance in general, which connects to fear of the panopticon as described by Michel Foucault in Birth of the Prison; the fear of being followed; the fear of the police state, the FBI, CIA, in general, and the NYPD in particular; the fear of finding a life partner and starting a family only to lose them in a violent fatal tragedy; the fear of guns and gunplay; the fear of being driven to seek revenge; the fear of taking a life; the fear of losing it all, and starting all over – again.