These photos of New York City Chinatown residents were originally taken by white photographer, Luke Beard, and posted to his Twitter on January 9, 2020 and to Instagram on January 10, 2020. After an Instagram exchange between myself and Luke, he deleted/archived his original Instagram post. The original photos remain active on his Twitter here.
I am so tired of white people disregarding Asians — and people of color at large — in their quest for content. As you can read from the screenshots below, the tone of defensiveness in Luke Beard's responses is clear. Rather than respond to me with respect, he quickly retorts that I can unfollow him to stop viewing his photography. But that isn't the point! And reacting in this way is dismissive of my concerns and by extension, the autonomy of Chinatown elders and residents.
What Luke Beard needs to learn & implement in his everyday life is ensuring that he treats Chinatown residents with the same respect he would offer white people if he were taking their photo without consent too. The caucasity of this white man to imply that providing "eye contact" with Asian people in Chinatown is sufficient & respectful consent speaks to his complete lack of manners.
He has since stated to me that he no longer posts photos of people without consent. So why are these photos still on your Twitter, Luke? Are you still monetizing off BIPOC likeness without paying their dues or reparations? I don't believe he's learned better but I have. I see white people using BIPOC folks for what they are, and I will continue to raise concern when their behavior is detrimental to my people.
⇢ Click here to watch a lovely TikTok video representation of white photographers using Chinatown and its residents as artistic inspo, without respecting our elders & their right to consent.
"New York City is the Iceland of cities photography wise" 🧐
Translation: white man compares NYC Asians to Iceland 🤡