"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." 

-James Baldwin

Why does racism exist? Why are black bodies hated the most through the lens of racism? The construct of race one of is the most powerful, deeply entrenched canons of Western thought and belief. My name is Carly Heywood, and this is Black Beasts. 

Black Beasts analyzes the speculation, exploitation, and animalization of the black body throughout history. Using the mediums of wearables, visuals & audio, we explore the conceptual realm where black people exist as beasts for channelling the complexities of Black American rage, grief, and fear of racial violence. 

Skins are hides. What does the skin hide-- and what does it expose? I will experiment with a range of materials sourced from animals and humans as a way to highlight that biological relationship and the experience of living through a “foreign” hide and existing as the “other.” 

Black Beasts is an interrogation of the construct of race in search of justice. 

For my Senior Thesis project as I'm finishing my last semester as a BFA Fashion Design student at Parsons the New School for Design, I’m analyzing the dehumanization of black bodies as the root of racism, and how the exploitation, speculation, and mistreatment of our bodies has embedded racist undertones into daily American culture. As Audrey Smedley stated in her writing, “Some Theoretical Considerations,” “Once established and conventionalized, worldviews become enthroned in individuals as mind-sets.” 

My project's aim is to spread awareness of how racism as a worldview has been constructed in America to divide the human race. Black Beasts is a world where black people exist as the animals white supremacists believe us to be, as a metaphor for how we’re still seen as the “other”. It is a world where black people can exist as emotional beings, embodying centuries of mental, physical, and emotional abuse as well as our resilience and strength. 

This is Black Beasts

Who gets to survive?