Cultures of Care | Naima Green | Learning Guide

Learning Guide

Key Themes

The key themes are thematic focal points that anchor the conversations around care for each dispatch. They can be used by educators and facilitators to prepare for learning, drive and structure conversations, and plan for connections to media/art/current events/personal contexts.


Specificity, which comes through intimacy and trust, is expansive

Naima’s photos disrupt assumptions about identity through their specificity. They reflect the multidimensionality in personhood, rather than relying on pre-existing notions of identity to create a photo that “makes sense” to an external audience. They show that we can be many things at once, creating new opportunities for bridging and connection across perceived difference.


Archives can provide care for the future

The archive — a broad, accessible collection of historical information and knowledge, is a potentially limitless space, constantly in revision through the actions and interrogations of archivists. Through her photography, Naima intentionally adds to the archive as an opportunity to care for future and present generations.

Video Guide



Naima speaks to feeling free by the act of self-portraiture, and how that process deepened her thinking on power dynamics and control within photography. How can an awareness of power dynamics and control in portraiture contribute to making the practice of portraiture and self-portraiture an act of care in itself?


How can the practice of portraiture and self-portraiture be intimate? If How are portraits different when the intimacy between photographer and sitter or the photographer and self is not there?


How did "Attraction Experiment" allow Naima to see herself in new ways?

Supplemental resources:
“Naima Green is in pursuit of the close portrait: An artistic practice turns into a deck of cards.” Naima Green interviewed by Madeleine Seidel for Ssense.

Archives of the Future


How is creating archives an act of care in Naima’s practice?

To Be Seen


What is the significance of historically marginalized bodies taking up physical space through photos? Who is cared for when this is honored?


How can being seen by someone care for a person? Can you relate to a moment where you felt seen and thus cared for? What happened in that interaction that made you feel cared for?


Why did Naima choose to intentionally photograph people of the African Diaspora in lush green space for her “Jewels of the Hinterland” project? How are the settings within which people are photographed signify care? What are the possible social effects of making images that signify care for marginalized people?

Spaces to rest


The Northeast Sculpture Project started a billboard project in response to George Floyd’s murder, in which Naima was commissioned to create “& full of dreams too”. Why was she initially apprehensive about the project and what shifted her thinking and moved her to do it in the end?


What is the significance of using images that symbolize dreaming, rest, and imagining alternate futures to juxtapose violent and harsh realities? How do you feel about this way of approaching creative work?

Extended Learning

Self Portrait

Use Naima’s interview as an invitation to lean into intimacy with yourself, taking some of the cues from her conversation to make this an act of care for yourself and/or your community:

Consider the space you are in. Maybe identify a location that makes you feel safe, expansive, and/ or cared for.


Maybe you choose an environment where you feel your body needs to be seen in?


What objects, textures, materials will you integrate to make you feel at ease?


What posture will your body take? Will your body be in the portrait at all?

Write in response to the following:

After you take the portrait, consider where you would want this portrait to exist. Is it for yourself or would it have a life elsewhere in the world?


How did this project make you feel?

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