A profound photoessay focusing on the identity and consciousness of self during childhood. The series was named a finalist in the LensCulture Exposure Awards 2015. Discover more inspiring work from all 31 of the winners and finalists.

“Holdup in the Hood” is both a personal and communal exploration of self. It concerns the identity of self that comes with the realization of making one’s mark.

The photographs in this series are taken from a larger body of work that documents an after-school, collaborative arts curriculum rooted in self-portraiture. The curriculum and documentation have been in progress for 13 years.

The work can incorporate drawings, recycled photographs, print media and body gesture to explore issues of identity including: race, class and gender.

—Francis Crisafio