Armon A. Means, Anthrow Circus's manager of operations and social media, is a fine art photographer and professor of photography living in Nashville, Tennessee. When not in the classroom or behind the camera, he's riding motorcycles, hunting down the best BBQ in the region, or doing woodworking out in his at-home woodshop. His work centers on ideas of cultural concerns, minority identity, environmental influences, and the notion of interconnectivity through shared experience.
Most motorcycle rallies take place in summer and fall, and I’ve been to my fair share of them, from Sturgis to the National Bikers Roundup to local events. Each one is unique, creating its own culture, reflected in the attendees, location, and associated activities. Yet there are also generally crossover points that make them feel more similar than different.
The first annual Black Wall Street Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, though, stood out from amongst all the others I’ve attended. The May 13-14 event consisted of two days of music, vendors, motorcycle competitions, historical tours, and cultural experiences within the historic Black Wall Street area of Tulsa’s Greenwood District.
On the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday, we recorded a short conversation between Armon Means and Kami Rice, Anthrow Circus’s Manager of Operations & Social Media and its Editor-in-Chief, respectively. We take you behind the scenes as our team wrestles with how Anthrow Circus should acknowledge this day and its ethos, ultimately deciding that letting you into this conversation was the best way we could honor what the day embodies.
ENGLISH AND HUNGARIAN TEXT BY ZSOFIA GERLEI
PHOTOS BY ARMON MEANS
Just like most parts of the world, Hungary registered its first COVID-19 cases in March. Nine months ago, as I write this in December, which should feel like a long time but honestly it doesn’t. Maybe because looking back at it, it hasn’t brought much of a change for me.
The traditional ideal of community structure was rooted in individuals’ formation of living groups derived from families and built through doing apprenticeships, seeking education, and returning to or remaining near the area where one was raised (generally within a 20-mile radius). In contemporary modernized society this ideal has become a relic as individuals no longer feel the need to remain near their place of birth. In addition, every year immigration and social change lead influxes of people to move to or within North America. Armon A. Means delves into resulting questions of individual and societal identity through his latest road trip photographic project.
It was the colors that surprised me the most. Color is wrapped into the essence of this place. Chiang Mai’s vibrancy is translated in hues of such intensity, often unlike anything I’ve come to know in the States. These colors were formed into surface and texture, adapting pattern and creating form across textiles such as scarves of hand-woven cashmere, and across silk dyed with such delicate precision that it seemed as if nature organically created the object itself.