- The Revival
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we were in a crowded church. I couldn't see much until I let the crying, stomping, and chanting guide me. As the believers rocked side to side, their skirts and robes blended with the powerful sounds filling the room. I followed the path leading to the circle around the casket and stopped at its edge, so as not to disrupt the formation. From where I stood, I saw the spirit their bodies had conjured: that was the moment I wanted.
These folks are Zion Revivalists living in Jamaica. The moment is a part of a larger story that connects similar practices and rituals across the African Diaspora. This image enacts a counter-narrative about religious traditions that have been [End Page 140] marginalized and demonized, first by colonizers who didn't understand them and therefore could not control them. It reframes spiritual practices that are often seen as barbaric once they veer from Western practices as actually quite human. It shows practitioners simply gathering and being together, a pivotal aspect of any spiritual ideology. This moment tells a new and truthful version of their story. [End Page 141]
Rox Campbell is a documentary photographer and expanded media artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in Brooklyn, Camp-bell's work is heavily influenced by memories of their childhood and their interest in the relationship between place and identity and the black diasporic experience; and exploring how counterframing, reimagining, or altering existing representations of the black experience can also alter the perception of black bodies. They currently teach photography at Guilford College.