Honé Sellassie’s “It Ages You,” urges the audience to question the ‘it’. What is it that is faced in black adolescence, especially regarding males, that causes mental growth, and capacity, to proliferate even if the body remains young. This series started as a documentation of my younger brothers as they reach manhood, but has greatly expanded to an exploration of death. Both in a physical sense, as well as how the pressures that black youth face to “be a man” can lead to an extraction of self.
The toxicity of masculinity can lead to a suppression of identity and sexuality, due to the normalization of shame. It discourages vulnerability in favor of callousness, rigidity, and isolation. This series exposes the struggle to seek an escape from the pressures of being a black man through retaining the carefreeness of one’s youth.
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