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Andrea Morales: Roll Down Like Water. Photography and Movement Journalism in the

Andrea Morales: Roll Down Like Water. Photography and Movement Journalism in the


This vibrant catalogue showcases a decade’s work by Memphis-based Peruvian-American photographer Andrea Morales (b. 1984), whose camera sympathetically delves into community life and activism in the American South. It accompanies her first major exhibition at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and represents the first scholarly publication on her work.


The unofficial capital of the Missisippi Delta, Memphis, Tennessee, has long been a place bubbling with activism and social movements. Roll Down Like Water – a nod to Dr Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s iconic last speech in the city in support of the 1968 Sanitation Workers’ Strike – shows Andrea Morales’s incredible ability to engage with the community through her lens. From intimate portraits and records of daily life to the documentation of social and environmental movements with local and national resonance, her photography builds a passionate and tender portrait of this unique part of the American South.


The energy vibrating through Morales’s stills is the energy of the people themselves: the artist centres her practice on building long-term relationships with the communities she photographs, and views this relationship as one of collaboration rather than detached observation. Her approach is informed by ‘movement journalism’, which recognizes that journalism, like the camera, is not totally objective: behind laptops and lenses are people, institutions and systems that hold and wield power, for good or ill. By establishing a human connection between chronicler and subject and rooting it in an ethical and rigorous framework, Morales’s ‘community-driven visual storytelling’ attempts to redress this balance to meet the needs of groups long marginalized by historical injustice.


For Memphis, and Morales, King’s words loom large. Echoing his description of ‘an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny’, Morales’s captivating images of the American South in moments of turbulence, stillness, darkness and beauty chart new, sustainable paths in photojournalism, while reflecting upon identity, community and the power of storytelling.

  • Rosamund Garrett, John Edwin Mason, Andrea Morales

    Paperback, 200 x 250 mm

    160 pp., approx 65 illustrations

    ISBN: 978-1-913645-72-4

  • Exhibition Details

    Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

    September 2024– January 2025

  • About the Authors

    Dr. Rosamund Garrett is Chief Curator at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, where she also serves as the Curator of European and Decorative Arts.

    Andrea Morales is a documentary photographer and photojournalist whose work focuses on social movements, community and everyday life in Memphis and the wider American South.

    Dr. John Edwin Mason is Associate Professor at the University of Virginia, where he teaches African history and the history of photography.

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