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Francena Ottley

New York, NY

CHARLA: The Birth of A Black Mother

Motherhood is so challenging yet so beautiful. Being a new mom and trying to navigate through the ins and outs of what is expected of me as a mom but also the pressure that comes from social media and family is often difficult. Adding on motherhood during a pandemic and dealing with prenatal, birth, and the unspoken fourth trimester/postpartum can come with many challenges. The pressure around breastfeeding versus formula feeding. Dealing with prenatal and/or postpartum depression. The relationship between a mother and child. How to balance being an artist and a mom, a working woman and a mom, or even a stay at home mom. I want to focus on the treatment of women of color with their doctors and in medical spaces and how we don’t have ownership over our bodies and the need to take back that ownership. These conversations are important and needed.


My name is Francena Ottley. I’m a Dominican-American Photographer, Installation Artist and most importantly a Mom. My work consists of using different mediums to create narrative pieces as well as fashion pieces that focus on empowering women of color. My goal is to always make work that is authentic, speaks to people, empowers people, and shares knowledge.