We Are Here: My Reflection on Kara Walker’s Domino Sugar Factory Installation

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Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

Upon entering the Domino Sugar Factory a load of emotions took control of my body. From the smell to the momentous sculptures I had sensory overload. Within my two trips there it was definitely a special feeling that emerged being amongst the space, especially when looking at the Sphinx. That special feeling was one of reverence for the ancestors, awe and shock to be in the space and finally immense gratitude to be able to experience the installation in my lifetime. Moreover, I was sad, reflective and in awe during my visit.

kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

The most distinct reflection was that of my grandmother telling me stories about her relatives that worked the sugar plantation fields in Jamaica. My grandmother always mentioned how integral sugar was to my ancestry with my Indian and African ancestors coming to work the plantations and lay down the railroad tracks to transport the sugar out of the country. To then see sugar in all of its contradictory glory was astounding. I felt a deep connection in the space and will be forever grateful for the experience.

Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

I also deeply pondered: Why is sugar only refined when turned white?

Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

Being amongst a wonderful community during “We Are Here” helped add more depth to my experience, and I enjoyed speaking with the community of people of color present on June 22nd. Here is the tumblr for more information: weareherekwe.tumblr.com

Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

Kara Walker Installation. Domino Sugar Factory. 2014. Photo by Erin K. Hylton.

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