Steeped in African-American history, Carrie Mae Weems’s works explore issues of race, class, and gender identity. Primarily working in photography and video, but also exploring everything from verse to performance, Weems has said that regardless of medium, activism is a central concern of her practice—specifically, looking at history as a way of better understanding the present. “Photography can be used as a powerful weapon toward instituting political and cultural change,” she has said. “I for one will continue to work toward this end.” She rose to prominence with her “Kitchen Table Series” in the early 1990s, whose photographs depict the artist seated at her kitchen table and examine various tropes and stereotypes of of African-American life. Most recently, her achievements were recognized with a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation.