While the concept of digital blackface is still very much worthy of discussion, diverse representation is just as important online as it is in our every day lives.
Thankfully, GIPHY—the world’s largest online database of GIFs—is keenly aware of their significant influence within the digital landscape, and has partnered with Refinery29 Unbothered to bless us all with some black ass GIFS that strive to authentically reflect our experiences.
“At GIPHY, we are continually inspired by the incredible work being done by the talented artists in our community and appreciate any opportunity to bring more awareness to their content,” says Cat Powell, Community Development Manager at GIPHY.
GIPHY recently unveiled GIPHY Identity, which features collections of identity-related gifs for Muslim, LGBTQ, Indigenous communities, and more. But for the artists contributing to the project, it’s much deeper than just creating content.
“GIPHY allows me to create work I truly believe in, especially covering themes like celebrating people of color and empowering women,” says Tenbeete Solomon, more commonly known as Trap Bob.
While collaborator Aurélia Durand adds, “For a long time, I was not proud enough of my Afro heritage and multiculturality. Art has helped me to embrace myself and connect with others; I feel empowered when I see that people can relate and see a part of themselves in my visuals.”
“Since embarking on my creative journey to self-discovery, I’ve become aware of how important it is to see yourself represented and how this depiction enables others to believe that they can be and do that too,” says digital artist Edinah Chewe, also known as Wild Logic. “My hope is that this project will not only inspire others to dream big but [also] show them that they, too, matter enough to be represented through art.”
For us, by us indeed.
You can check out the rest of the collection here.