Rahim Fortune

1994, United States
Nominee - Prix Elysée 2025

Rahim Fortune (US, 1994) is a visual artist and educator from the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, United States. He uses photography to ask fundamental questions about American identity. Focusing on the narratives of individual families and communities, he explores shifting geographies of migration and resettlement and the way that these histories are written on the landscapes of Texas and the American South.

Rahim Fortune’s previous book, I Can’t Stand to See You Cry, was published by Loose Joints in 2021 and was the winner of the Rencontres d’Arles Louis Roederer Discovery Award 2022. His work has been featured in exhibitions worldwide and many permanent collections, including the High Museum in Atlanta, LUMA Arles, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and The Boston Museum of Fine Art.


The Cove

"The Cove addresses the pain and memory associated with the loss of a family and community. At once, it is a love letter to my family and fair critique of how progress is often actualized to the detriment of ourselves and others."

As Rahim Fortune observes the archives left behind by his family, the notion of pride is constantly brought face to face with the contradiction and nuance that must be borne in mind as a universal human condition. The idea that two things can be true at the same time must be recognised in order to break down the preconceptions that lead to division between people. Rahim Fortune puts himself in the shoes of his father and the communities his work as a police officer impacted, his grandfather and the things he saw and carried out overseas as a combat veteran in both the Vietnam and Korean wars, and his grandmother who raised a beautiful family of eight children at the cost of ever fulfilling her own ambitions in life.

In this new work, Rahim Fortune is interested in examining the idea of “the good old days” that is very closely tied to traditional values. At a time when the world feels so divided along ideological lines, each of us can benefit from self-reflection, redemption, and offering grace in how we remember. Rahim Fortune’s work in speculative documentary photography has prepared him to pivot his approach and undertake such an ambitious project. His work is steeped in photo history, and this new project will be an essential addition to the canon, challenging him to push himself to see what can be produced within the medium of lens-based work.