Essay 453 • Jul 2nd 2020

Falling right in the uproar of needed protests, increasing body counts, and a pandemic that no one seems to understand, Juneteenth bears the tradition of strength and perseverance that is embedded in [our] history. As I captured the faces of varying generations at Philadelphia’s “Jawn-Teenth” I reveled in the fact that we’ve always been able to find joy, light and celebration amidst the darkness; Juneteenth 2020 was no different.


Marcus Branch, born 1991, is a photographer & artist whose work aims to celebrate people of color, encourage diversity, and to contribute a positive perspective of the often misrepresented. A true renaissance man with an affinity for portraiture, Branch graduated from the University of the Arts in 2014 with a BFA in Photography, is a rehearsal director & principal dancer in a dance theater company, an educator in high-school-level visual communications, a filmmaker & an internationally published model. Branch’s work has been globally recognized & featured in i-D US, i-D UK, i-D Japan & i-D Germany, Interview Magazine, Dazed, Afropunk, Polaroid Magazine, Gay Times Magazine, The Tenth Magazine, Vice Austria, Fotomania in Bulgaria and has been honorably deemed by Polaroid and Ryan McGinley as one of the “ New Originals of Instant Photography”.
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