Daesha Devón Harris

Just Beyond
the River

Daesha Devón Harris is a Saratoga Springs, NY native, artist and photographer who plays an active role in her community as a youth advocate, social activist and cultural history preservationist. The gentrification of her hometown and it’s effect on the local Black community has played a major role in both her advocacy and artwork. Harris’s most recent awards include fellowships at En Foco, Inc, MDOCS Storyteller’s Institute, the Center for Photography at Woodstock and Blue Sky Gallery.

My work explores the concept of “home” as it relates to the African American experience, particularly in achieving the elusive American Dream and the realization of full, undefiled citizenship. Though people of color continue to be systematically excluded from national narratives of success and citizenship, there has been agency, uplift and triumph among African American communities. By reclaiming our intimate memories and cultural histories, I make it a point to illustrate that the Black community is not defined by these barriers, but rather show the strength, faith and hope of a people.

Growing up my greatest joy was exploring both the urban and pastoral landscape of my immediate and extended home. These outings allowed me to not only experience familial traditions connected to the landscape but also to learn personal and cultural history. The stories that my family told entranced me and compelled me to seek out the missing stories- those untold and those forgotten. My work combines elements from shared cultural narratives of the African Diaspora with family lore, personal moments from my childhood and memories of home.

Visit Hundred Heroines for the full story and to see more of her stunning artwork