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'Children of Indigo' at Photoville Festival 2023

Event Date:

June 3 - 18, 2023 | 12:00 PM EDT


Brooklyn Bridge Park
1 Water St

Brooklyn, NY 11201

clumps of natural indigo dye

Women artists and homesteaders in South Carolina’s Lowcountry have revived traditional indigo...


As part of the 12th annual Photoville Festival in New York City, Photoville will be featuring the work of Pulitzer Center grantee Caroline Gutman in the exhibit, Children of Indigo.

Photoville is an ongoing event with exhibits in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, beginning on June 3, 2023. Throughout the festival, there will be in-person and virtual storytelling events, artist talks, educational programming, and open-air exhibitions in parks and other New York public spaces.

Learn more about the exhibit below, and visit this link to learn more about Photoville 2023.

The beauty of indigo is haunted by a painful history.

Eliza Pinckney, an 18th century slaveholder’s daughter, is widely credited with planting the first indigo seeds in South Carolina and transforming the plant into a lucrative cash crop. Before the American Revolutionary War, indigo dye, which was known as ‘blue gold,’ accounted for 25% of all exports from the American colonies, the second most valuable export after rice.

But behind the allure of indigo blue and the wealth it created was the reality of enslaved people who carried out the backbreaking work of cultivating, fermenting and processing indigo into dye.

Today, women in the Lowcountry have revived indigo cultivation and dyeing, building a flourishing community of textile artists and homesteaders. In the words of indigo artist and educator Arianne King Comer, “Indigo is the voice of our ancestors.”

Children of Indigo explores the unsettling history of indigo in the Lowcountry and the artists and homesteaders today who are reviving and reclaiming South Carolina’s indigo tradition.


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