Traveling with My Ancestors


Working at the forefront of genderqueer visual politics, celebrated photographer Lola Flash has become known for images that manage to both interrogate and transcend preconceptions about gender, sex, and race. Spurred by their experience as an active member of ACT UP and ART+ during the AIDS epidemic in New York City, their art is profoundly connected to their activism, fueling a lifelong commitment to visibility and preserving the legacy of queer communities, especially queer communities of color.

The seventeenth volume in a groundbreaking series of LGBTQ-themed photobooks from The New Press, Believable draws on the extraordinary body of work that Flash has created over four decades, from their iconic “Cross Colour” images from the 1980s and early 1990s to their more recent photography, which uses the framework of Afrofuturism to examine the intersection of Black culture and technoculture and science fiction. Also included in the book are portraits that explore the impact of skin pigmentation on Black identity and consciousness, as well as people who have challenged traditional concepts of gender and trendsetters in the urban underground cultural scene.

In all their images, their passion for photography and their belief in the medium’s ability to provide agency and freedom and initiate change shine through. For the first time, Believable brings together the remarkable work of this queer art icon.

Lola Flash is a New York–based photographer. Their photographs have appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, Ebony, and Smithsonian Magazine. Their work is part of permanent collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art.


Smithsonian Magazine | December 1, 2023
photograph | September 2, 2023
Blind | August 11, 2013

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