The final flip:
And I'll keep it brief. Our increasingly anti-trans, misogynistic, and antiblack political landscape has finally landed where I live: North Carolina has passed a slew of violent legislation, including a ban on abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy, and a ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth. It is no longer safe for me to live here.
While I was able to secure temporary housing and move forward in my mentorship thanks to this GFM, I am now switching the focus of this campaign to helping me relocate to a more supportive location, or at the very least a less openly hostile one. Any and all support is deeply needed and deeply appreciated.
[Unfortunately, I've had to update the primary focus of this fundraiser. While I'm absolutely still in need of support for my photography mentorship, my greatest need right now is for safe and steady housing. I’d been living with family for the post few years, that's no longer a feasible or even safe option for me. Fortunately I've been able to locate temporary housing for the next 6 months, but a more permanent option will have to be found ASAP. I've upped the total amount of this GFM to reflect this change in need.
Thank you so much for the support, y'all.]
My name is Ra'il I’Nasah Kiam, I'm a Black, genderqueer independent artist, theorist, curator and semi-professional loudmouth. If you’re familiar with my work , it's probably from my work around disinformation with the #YourSlipIsShowing campaign or my writing on social media. Starting in 2019, however I returned to my childhood love of photography. Since then, along with being accepted in two juried art exhibitions, in Spring 2021 I was also accepted into an MFA program here in North Carolina, where I’m based.
While I was and remain deeply grateful for the opportunity to return to graduate study, I decided to defer for a year due to the pandemic, and in the time since my acceptance, my personal and artistic priorities have shifted significantly. I now believe that remaining outside of academia is the best option for my professional goals, my mental health, and my creative life. To that end, I applied to a 10-month photography mentorship at a gallery in Charlotte, and I'm so excited to say that I was accepted!
The purpose of this fundraiser is to help support me through these next 10 months of artmaking. While the mentorship is free of cost, it unfortunately does not offer any financial support, and as I'm no longer returning to graduate school, the financial aid I had plans for is obviously no longer an option. I'm glad that I won’t be incurring any additional debt, however my need for support remains. This gofundme will go towards replacing my nearly-dead laptop and cell phone, repairing my primary film camera and obtaining needed film equipment, healthcare needs (including a follow-up procedure to my teeth surgery from last year), and the travel demands of the mentorship.
I'm really excited to have this opportunity to take concrete steps towards building the artist life that I've always wanted, any support towards making this desire a reality is seen, felt, and deeply appreciated.
P.S. If you'd like to get a sense of my photography, check out my Instagram !
PP.S. If you'd like to support my work on a more regular basis, check out my Patreon !