Stuck In The South

Dorothy Janel Sutton

May 2019

“Observe the life moving like a river around you… and realize that the images you make may become part of the collective history of the time that you are living in”

-Eli Reed


Stuck is defined as unable to move or unable to progress.

The “Stuck in the South” series describes the mental and physical struggles that come with living in an urban neighborhood. The inspiration behind this series is best captured through elements of nature and people all located in an area named The Set in Delray Beach.

This series is examined through my personal experience of growing up in a single-parent, multi-generational and low income household. In exploring this topic of my experience I always believed victory required vulnerability, so highlighting this part of my life offers that for viewers to understand the concept.

I ultimately wanted to tap into the subject of being stuck in the south with the generational responsibilities. Whether it being stuck in the familiar, stuck in mindset, stuck in the lack thereof, or stuck economically.  The viewer can relate in some way to the raw emotion of surviving through a struggle.

You can see some of the images are dimly colored to create this somber mood. I wanted the viewer to experience this sense of hardship along with me. In addition, you can see some of the photos are of windows and reflections. The reasoning behind this was to not only focus on what you see but to engage fully in the vulnerability of the image and then to reflect upon it. Within these photos they all create an inside perspective on what life struggles look like in the urban household.


Dorothy Janel Sutton is creative photographer. She was born in Delray Beach, Florida and attended Palm Beach State College and Florida Atlantic University; it is here she majored in Multimedia Studies with a concentration in Journalism and Photography. During her studies she developed a keen eye for capturing humanity shots with a journalistic approach.

Dorothy’s inspiration stems from elements of psychology, social issues, nature and personal experiences. Fusing all those elements together creates the narrative she tries to convey throughout numerous pieces.

Dorothy has been active as a photographer since 2014 for multiple businesses, such as Upward Bound, Information Television Network, American Heart Association and Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative. Most recently teaming up with Delray Beach based organization Northwest Southwest Neighborhood Alliance as a visual historian throughout the African American community. Her passion for photography has led her to be featured in many exhibitions at Florida Atlantic University, Ritter Arts Gallery, Arts Warehouse and Spady Cultural Heritage Museum.