Photographer based in Chicago. For him, photography provides an opportunity to tell stories of the black global experience across the diaspora. He took some time to share with us his work and what Support means to him.
As a BIPOC creative, what does “support” mean to you?
Support means sharing BIPOC on social media, commenting on their work, connecting with editors, and answering questions.
Who has supported you and why was it meaningful?
My family, my close friends, and my mentor have been extremely supportive of my work and I'm super thankful for it. In times when there's discouragement and doubt, I can count on my tribe to lift me up and get me back on track.
Any words of advice or encouragement to BIPOC creatives just starting out?
Whenever an idea comes up, small or big, complete it. That idea can lead to many opportunities in the long run. Personal passion projects are the key to getting bigger jobs, so I always advise creatives to focus on those. Lastly, collaborations, find creatives or stylish people around your area, and collaborate.
What is your cultural heritage and how has it influenced your work?
I was born and raised in Italy for 17 years, originally from Ghana and currently based in Chicago. My goal is to always harness all these cultures and link both worlds through photography and storytelling.
Why is BIPOC representation meaningful to you?
For as long as I can remember, lack of BIPOC representation has been an issue, I can go way back since I lived in Italy. There was no representation of people that looked like me at all as a photographer.
Why is DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) important to you and your industry?
It's very important that BIPOC are telling their own stories. DEI is so important to me because it could open the doors for so many BIPOC and then have the option to have a seat at the table. I always advocate for more BIPOC to be in those rooms, in those tables.
Why are telling BIPOC stories important to you?
For so long, our stories have been hidden, removed from textbooks, and twisted. Coming up, if it wasn't for my parents, I would've never heard stories about our black heroes or stories about Ghana, etc. It's very important that as creatives, we continue to share stories as much as possible, making a difference for the people coming after me.