I’m Ajuma Abalaka from Nigeria. Photography for me is the best way to express and recreate my reality. I’m inspired by the social and cultural events that revolve around me and the faces I have grown up to be familiar with, which I now love to document.
“The North Liberty area was first settled in 1838 by John Gaylor and Alonzo C. Dennison. It was originally known as “Big Bottom” or “North Bend” (in reference to its location near the bend of the Iowa River) by its earliest settlers and was later known as “Squash Bend” before the city was platted as North Liberty in 1857. North Liberty incorporated on November 10, 1913, when its population was approximately 190. Population growth accelerated in the 1960s, and the Iowa City Community School District opened Penn Elementary there in 1961.
A 1967 special census placed the city’s population at 782. The population grew to over 2,000 by 1980, and in response in 1984 the North Liberty Community Library was founded and Penn Meadows Park, the city’s largest, was opened. By 2000, the population of the city was over 5,000 and the city had established its own police and fire departments, and built a community center with library and aquatic park, as well as a city administration building. The city has since continued to grow, with a population of 7,224 in a 2004 special census. In 2007, the population was estimated to be 10,982, making North Liberty the second fastest-growing city in Iowa. According to the 2010 U.S. census the population of North Liberty had increased to 13,374.”
Back alleys can be a gold mine for photographers. Where I live there are these alleys from turn of the century buildings. While the front of a lot of these buildings have been modernized somewhat, the back looks much like they did when they were first constructed. I’ve always been a person that thinks that what’s in the shadows is usually more interesting than what’s in the light.