Rachael was born in New Haven, Connecticut and received her BFA from the Hartford Art School in 2013. She lived in New York City for a year and interned at Aperture Foundation before leaving to South Carolina. She taught photography to elementary school children in Charleston as part of enriching school art classes for title one schools. Currently she lives on Isle of Palms, South Carolina just outside of Downtown Charleston. She is a candidate for receiving her MFA at the Hartford Art School.
Unincorporated South Carolina
Unincorporated South Carolina began with my interest in cultures that particularly need land for their culture to continue to survive. Gullah is a culture that originates with slavery in the Coastal South East. They speak their own language and have their traditions that originate from Africa, and they live and own land that has been passed through family lineage dating as far back to the Antebellum South. During Slavery and extending to the latter half of the twentieth century, Gullah people have lived in somewhat isolation. This allowed the Gullah people to develop and preserve their own culture. Currently Gullah communities face internal and external issues with keeping their land. The Gullah communities remain unincorporated from the towns that surround their land for fear of losing all of their land and the lack of acceptance. The new affluent neighborhoods build right to the boarders and some neighborhoods are so carelessly built that they are situated on natural flood grounds and disrupting the natural protections of the land. I felt empathic for the diminishing Gullah culture. I found it so important that families would be able to continue to raise their families with their traditions. My own biography connects me because my biological father emigrated from Peru. I did not grow up with my father nor did I learn my own heritage and that resulted in some cultural estrangement for me. My biological father lives in the Charleston County in one of the affluent gated communities. It is inaccessible for me physically and culturally.
To view more of Rachael Cavaiuolo’s work please visit their website.