Adrian L. Burrell

2020 YBCA 100 Honoree

Adrian L. Burrell is an Oakland-based storyteller who uses photography, film, and site-specific installation to examine issues of race, class, gender, and intergenerational dynamics. His work focuses on notions of kinship, diasporic narratives, and the gaps between place and belonging.

Adrian’s ongoing multimedia project Mama’s Babies draws deeply on his own family’s history, combining interviews, video, and archival materials to trace a multigenerational journey from Louisiana to Oakland. His Afrofuturist portrait series It’s the End of the World, Don’t You Know That Yet? will debut at SFMOMA, followed by two documentary films planned for release in 2021. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Adrian has lived and worked on four continents and served as a volunteer educator in San Francisco, teaching film to youth in detention.

Adrian earned a BFA in film from San Francisco Art Institute and is currently earning his MFA from Stanford’s Department of Art & Art History, where he serves as the Black Graduate Student Community Outreach Chair.