CHILLUNS' CROON - Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez

"Chilluns’ Croon investigates themes of the past such as absence, remembrance, spirituality, and mortality of formerly enslaved people of Wilson County, North Carolina."

Artist: Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez
Project: Chilluns’ Croon

Instagram / Website 


"An intimate portrait of an African American community, Chilluns’ Croon hums songs of hope, equality, and change for new generations.

After conducting a deep research of the Wilson County area and establishing a relationship with Lisa Y. Henderson, curator of the archive Black Wide-Awake; documents of genealogical and historical interest to researchers of Wilson County’s historical African American community, both photographer and historian worked on a selection of files to serve as inspiration for the imagery essay."



"Curated by Lisa Y. Henderson, the archive Black Wide-Awake includes a range of files, from photographs, family diaries, and plantation records to newspaper clippings of obituaries, town crimes, and social events, among others. The archive files date from the mid-1700s, times of slavery in the 1800s, segregation era in the 1900s, and documents of new local activists seeking to restore and preserve their African American legacy.

Chilluns’ Croon incorporates old transcripts from the Federal Writers Project (FWP) featuring interviews with formerly enslaved African Americans. Together, the compilation of documents reveals old spiritual beliefs and stories of love and loss from the time of slavery and segregation in the United States."



© Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez

Editor : Ecaterina Rusu

Back to blog