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.
Viviane Sassen studied fashion design and photography before earning an MFA from Ateliers Arnhem. Having spent three years of her early childhood in a remote village in Kenya, her work is influence by the young memories of her first home.
“Bright sunlight, dark shadows, the market with dead sheep hanging upside down with their tongues out, the other children who always wanted to touch my face and hair, the pure darkness that fell on the village at night.”
At 16 Sassen returned to to Kenya for a visit and despite her comings and goings, she keeps being drawn back to a place where she feels familiarity with, but can not deny that her presence will always be a foreign one. However, she harnesses her mix of nostalgia and talent to produce images that provide an enjoyable contrast of light and dark.
I read this great post that is a bit old but still relevant from the great Yagazie Emezi on her blog about hair intimacy in a relationship. Growing up as a brown girl I learned that pretty hair that boys like is long straight and flowing. When I started dating my hair was super short, uneven and fried from crazy amounts of flat ironing. But at a very young age I decided I didn’t care what others thought because I knew I would never be what everyone wanted so I only focused on what I wanted for myself. I started wearing braids when I was about 14 and there were times where people I knew wouldn’t see my hair for months at a time. Putting my braids in was always something I never thought to show to anyone and would disappear for the amount of time it took to finish them. However as I have gotten older I realize that it is important for not only oneself to accept themselves in other forms but for those close to you to accept that as well.
“Hair intimacy to me is the comforts of wearing your hair around your partner anyway you see fit and not being judged by it.”
This idea became even more important to me after going natural. Many people told me that guys don’t like that and it’s not cute. But fuck that. Its a part of me and should be accepted and loved like any other part of me. You know my kinks be cute, don’t lie.
Reading Yagazie’s post made me think of my current beau and how amazing it feels to not have to worry about anything at all ever. Someone who accepts you in all forms is truly someone to be grateful for. In the past I might have thought that hiding certain parts of myself was okay because they were undesirable based on my warped image of beauty but not anymore. I miss you luv come back to me~
Enjoy this super embarrassing photo of the gf taking out my braids tee hee hee. (I might take this down later @.@)
“I wanted to share more of myself in a relatable way.“ Lagos based multi-disciplinary artist and digital influencer @yagazieemezi contributes a series of her inimitable, positive #Yaga Life Facts cartoons exclusively for @nataalmedia