From Come Brown Come Brown, Come Black Come Black, 2015. Epson archival Inkjet Prints on Diabond (20" x 20")
“Out of many one people” is the motto displayed on the Jamaican coat of arms, an ode to the multitude of bodies who account for the various races, shades, and origins which compose the island’s populous; out of the many people who make up the Jamaican identity, one standard of whiteness is preferred.
Come Brown Come Brown; Come Black Come Black is an exploration of how the psyches of contemporary Afro-Jamaican women are still heavily influenced by their colonial past, and the simultaneous struggle they engage in to restore lost traditions. I explore this notion through performative self-portraitures, video works, and audio, which together illustrate how the modes of beauty and aesthetics considered to be idiosyncratic indicators of Jamaican cultural authenticity, together form a culture entangled within paradox and dichotomy. This body of work also seeks to acknowledge the true meaning of cultural authenticity—if any—in regards to Jamaican culture, when Jamaica is an island composed of diasporic bodies and amalgamated cultures.
At 15 years of age, Luxembourg-based David Uzochukwu is a photographer who is creating a name for himself through his portfolio. With soft, but stunning portraits and self-portraits, he already carries an impressive resume for his artistic images.
I came across Mambu Bayoh’s work in late 2010, drawn to the vibrant softness and hidden strength of the women captured by his camera. Bayoh is a Sierra Leone/Liberian photographer who came to the United States at a young age, escaping the Liberian civil war. Drawn to the art of photography, Bayoh stopped his pursuit in Law and dedicated his time to his now current passion. His work not only crosses over into high fashion and street fashion, but into social documentation as well.
“My work is journalistic; I capture life as I know or see it. It is also laboring; it’s born out of love passion and inner struggle. I love to capture people. The collective strength of humans is beyond amazing and the determination of an individual is prolific. I’ve been blessed to be on earth for a little amount of its history but I just want to document what I see and hear. To show the human strength, defeat, determination, culture, and resilience.”
Needless to say, Mambu Bayoh’s work is a visual feast and his continuous output of new images assures us that there will always be more to enjoy.