Rachel Ossip

All articles by this author

Out Here

Out Here

An interview with photographer Nicole Buchanan

Every way we’re photographing Black men, and women, and children, whoever, needs to be humanizing. Photography has always dehumanized African and other African-descendent people. Early photographers documented slaves, so if they ran away, you’d have a photograph to know what your slave looked like. That’s the history, and as photographers now we have a duty to show Black life in a positive light. If we take that humanity away, we’re back at the beginning.

Living Inside

Living Inside

DON’T TAKE ADVIL!!

The virus tours my organ systems, wreaking havoc at each checkpoint. My girlfriend likewise personifies it, thinking of the virus as a sci-fi invader. She tells me she imagines it taking up temporary residence in her brain, the command center, maneuvering a joystick across her sensory receptors.

Living Inside

Living Inside

The virus comes to visit

Of course my worrying makes it worse, but it’s not as if one can just turn off a venerable, inherited tradition, refined over the course of generations. My mother calls, frantic, and begs us to go to the hospital. I try to patiently explain that going to the hospital, if not absolutely necessary, would be the worst thing we could do, adding to the nurses’ burden and potentially exposing other patients. I remember what a tree told me once, in a different hallucinatory dream: There are other ways to care about people than worrying about them. You can just ask them how they are.

Ghost World

Ghost World

Images have become not only animate, but incarnate.

Seemingly insincere, jokey phrases flip and become the nexus of an argument. Concomitance carries weight. A border of an image can be like the border of a nation-state; tension accumulates at an edge. For an image, the tension lies in the difference between the logics created within the picture plane and outside it. For nation-states, it is often the same—tension between colliding desires, incompatible ways of understanding, communicating, and seeing.

Revolutionary Posters

Revolutionary Posters

An interview with the designers behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign

We’re in a revolutionary moment, so we went straight to the history of grassroots, civil rights, and social justice movements in search of a common language we could participate in. One that Ocasio-Cortez could participate in and that she belongs in. The most inspiring figures to us were Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez, the cofounders of the National Farmworkers Association. They had a positive, uplifting message about bringing power to the people. It resonated so deeply with who Sandy the person was, and who Sandy the candidate became, that it was a good fit.

I Voted for All of Them

I Voted for All of Them

I thought I would watch the results and drink champagne with women I love, and then we’d wake up the next day and begin our dutiful critique.

I watched my Facebook feed fill with friends dedicating their votes to their mothers and grandmothers and daughters. Despite my disillusionment, I began to feel sentimental.