Our Lives Through Their Lenses: Meet Five Photographers Documenting The Many Layers Of The Black And Afro-Latino Experience
May 10, 2022
Throughout the course of history, the experiences of Black people across the globe have been given added dimension by photography. It makes sense: as the old adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. And iconic images like Ruby Bridges being escorted from her elementary school, the late Edward Crawford, Jr. throwing a can of tear gas back at Ferguson police officers, to the myriad shots of joy and creativity captured at our AFROPUNK festival: our stories are enriched when captured visually.
And who best to capture the nuances of the Black experience than the photographers who have lived it themselves? Meet five Black and Afro-Latino photographers doing exactly that, and getting quite a bit of attention for it:
Adam Davis (@admdav)
If you ask this L.A.-based artist what he shoots, his answer will be clear: “I just tell them: ‘Black people. I mostly photograph Black people.’ And they get tense,” he recently told the Los Angeles Times. Davis is currently on a mission to shoot 20,000 tintype portraits of Black Americans while touring historically Black cities like Detroit, Chicago, and Tulsa. This is in addition to a body of work that has already led to two solo exhibits in L.A.
Adriana Parrilla (on Facebook)
Having grown up in Puerto Rico, Adriana’s exploration of themes of identity and Blackness in her work is an extension of a personal quest to understand her identity. In 2020, she released a collection called, “Don’t Call Me Triguena: I”m Black,” tackling the “in-between” identity that many Afro-Puerto Ricans cling to rather than seeing themselves as Black.
Clifford Prince King (@cliffordprinceking)
Using his own life and personal relationships, Clifford’s work is a living, ever-expanding documentary and testimonial to layered personhood. His lens captures intimate moments between queer Black men, the unique bonds of Black sisterhood, and even nods to our ancestors. In addition to showcasing his photos as an artist, Clifford is also an editorial photographer whose work has graced the pages of The New York Times, Vogue, Interview, and many more.
Lourdes Sukari (@lourdesukari)
She’s made a name for herself on Atlanta’s entertainment scene – capturing BTS footage for The Migos, capturing intimate celebrations for Teyana Taylor, and touring with the traveling Arts, Beats & Lyrics exhibit. Yet Lourdes lends an additional level of artistry to her work, through which she says the goal is always to capture liveliness and authenticity. “My photographs are known for capturing exhibitions of happiness, freedom, success; doubt, struggle, and vulnerability,” she explains.
Adeline Lulo (@adelinelulo)
A first-generation American raised in Washington Heights, her parents’ native Dominican Republic has always influenced Adeline’s work. She’s captured the people of DR through a series titled Si Dios Quiere, which showcases daily life in the island nation. Her work also often centers on the unique Dominican-American experience as expressed in the Heights and The Bronx. In 2019, Nike recruited her to capture that very cultural aesthetic for a photo essay supporting their Air Force 1 “De Lo Mio” drop.
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