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COUPLES YOGA, Charleston, S.C. U.S.A.

Couples Yoga is a peaceful-protest, performance series photographed in Charleston, South Carolina in response to racism and police brutality against black people and people of color around the world, especially in the U.S. The series presents two men: a black man dressed in a hoodie, and a white man dressed in a police uniform, assuming symbiotic yoga poses in a unifying activity to offer compassionate cues to a society that continues to exhibit profound racial inequality.

Historic oppression, institutionalized racism, and redlining has massively crippled the progression of the civil rights movement. The USA remains a racially segregated nation residentially, socially, economically and in minds —both consciously and unconsciously. Black men in America are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites, with black women incarcerated twice as often as white women. In a 2017 poll, organized by NPR and the Harvard School of Public Health, 61% of black Americans said that where they live, police are more likely to use unnecessary force on a person who is black than on a white person in the same situation and 31% of poll respondents said that fear of discrimination has led them to avoid calling the police when in need.

Couples Yoga seeks to envision a new narrative, signaling love, trust, harmony and an acknowledgment of the shared inherent worth of all people - a concept embedded within the Sanskrit word “namaste”, often expressed in yogic practices. The word “yogic”, also Sanskrit, is translated as “yoke” or “union.” Yogic is most often used to describe a practice that creates a unification of the body, mind, soul, and universal consciousness. In this state of unification, racism cannot survive. The two men are also archetypes symbolizing the power and potential of the balanced 'divine masculine' that is attainable when engaging from a heart-centered, mindful position. Through the creation of imagery to counter the fear, scarcity, polarization and hatred narratives so prevalent today, Couples Yoga seeks to contribute to cultivating new realities and timelines which form a step on the pathway towards restitution, healing and reconciliation.

15% of sales from this series is donated towards restitution organizations.

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