For artist Anthony Jamari Thomas, however, the story doesn’t end there.
We live in a particularly repressive political moment, where those in positions of power have demonstrated time and time again that they do not deserve to have that power in the first place. One of the greatest examples of this has been the ongoing treatment of immigrants in this country. It is this very treatment that forms the conceptual crux of Thomas’s new book, LAMB. Published by Paradigm, this publication is not only a bold exploration of the ways in which the migrant body is handled—both literally and symbolically—but an acknowledgement of the sacrifice and bravery inherent to migrancy itself.
In addition to the book, Thomas supplemented LAMB with a performance piece, in which he spent 24 hours inside a wooden box without food or water in protest of and in homage to the migrant experience, alongside alternative R&B artist BarringtonELECT, who curated the sounds and sang to enhance the atmosphere. One can always pledge allegiance to a worthy cause, but there will always be that conveniently comfortable distance that separates the one who has experienced the act and the one who protests for the one who has experienced it.
Thomas, in his own capacity, has worked to mend that distance, to step into the shoes of and to illuminate the experiences of the brown body, in the best way he knows how.