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The Black Gaze Newsletter | December 2021

The Black Gaze Newsletter
The Black Gaze Newsletter
Dear Black Gaze Family, 
Seasons greetings to you. Welcome to the final The Black Gaze newsletter of 2021, a rollercoaster year that has challenged and surprised us all.

Over the last few weeks we’ve encountered an increasing number of people who have used their voice to assert and reassert the significance of the only gaze that matters, #TheWrongGaze.
While we have had to say goodbye to loved ones, we understand that there are many rivers to cross before we can say goodbye to #TheWrongGaze. That day can’t come soon enough for us.
As we look forward to 2022, we are busy working on new content for you and new ways for you to get involved with our work. This includes new guest editors of our newsletter, more Twitter takeovers and a counteraction to the growing amount of #NSFBPC - Not Safe For Black People and Culture - content that rotates tired tropes and stereotypes like sushi on a conveyor belt.
We are excited to bring all this and more in 2022. For now, please enjoy this newsletter which is packed with great photographers to discover, books to buy, videos to watch and competitions to enter.
Thank you for your continued support of The Black Gaze. I wish you a peaceful and relaxing end to 2021 and a productive and joyful start to 2022. See you on the other side.
Discover
Bookshelf
As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic
I’ve said it before so I’ll say it again, I can not recommend this book enough.
As We Rise presents an exciting compilation of photographs from African diasporic culture. With over one hundred works by Black artists from Canada, the Caribbean, Great Britain, the United States, South America, as well as throughout the African continent, this volume provides a timely exploration of Black identity on both sides of the Atlantic.
Angélica Dass: The Colours We Share
By depicting people from all over the world against a background that matches their skin tone, Angélica Dass shows us how wonderfully colourful humans really are, questioning the concept of race and the limited categories we use to describe each other.
Nadine Ijewere: Our Own Selves
“This book is an insight to my journey thus far, it is a book about women,” says Nadine Ijewere on her first monograph, Our Own Selves. “My work has always had underlying themes of identity and diversity, celebrating our differences, reframing what beauty has stereotypically been and creating a space to elevate women of colour.” 
Gordon Parks: Pittsburgh Grease Plant, 1944/46
Featuring more than 100 photographs, many previously unpublished, this is the first book to focus exclusively on Parks’ photographs for the Standard Oil Company.
Employing his signature style, Parks spent two years chronicling the plant’s industry–critical to Pittsburgh’s history and character–by photographing its workers. The resulting photographs, dramatically staged and lit and striking in their composition, showed the range of activities engaged in by Black and white workers, divided as they were by roles, race and class.
This title will be released on 1 February 2022.
Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue
A visual and conceptual conversation between two leading US photo-artists famed for their mutual explorations of race, class and power.
Since first meeting at the Studio Museum in Harlem five decades ago, Bey and Weems have maintained spirited and supportive mutual engagement while exploring and addressing similar themes: race, class, representation, and systems of power. Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue brings their work together in five thematic groupings to shed light on their unique creative visions and trajectories, and their shared concerns and principles.
This title will be released on 24 May 24 2022.
Gordon Parks: Segregation Story
This expanded edition of Gordon Parks: Segregation Story includes around 30 previously unpublished photographs, as well as enhanced reproductions created from Parks’ original colour transparencies. It also includes newly discovered descriptions Parks wrote for the photographs; a manuscript of film-developing instructions and a new essay by artist Dawoud Bey.
This title will be released on 28 June 2022.
bell hooks: All About Love
I’ve said it before so I’ll say it again, I can not recommend this book enough.
As We Rise presents an exciting compilation of photographs from African diasporic culture. With over one hundred works by Black artists from Canada, the Caribbean, Great Britain, the United States, South America, as well as throughout the African continent, this volume provides a timely exploration of Black identity on both sides of the Atlantic.
Jill Louise Busby: Unfollow Me
Unfollow Me is a memoir-in-essays about these scripts; it’s about tokenism, micro-fame, and inhabiting spaces-real and virtual, black and white-where complicity is the price of entry.
Read
The Black and White Truth About Photography
“At its most basic level photography is about storytelling. However, it’s not all black and white in the history and use of photography.”
This insightful and must read essay is written by Majorie H Morgan, a writer, playwright, and journalist with special interest in cultural and social politics.
Love In Black
During the pandemic, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, a Brooklyn-based photographer and writer created Love in Black, a beautiful body of work inspired by the text, All About Love: New Visions written by the late bell hooks.
All About Love is a compelling text that not only engages ideas around love, but also family, justice, gender, forgiveness, worthiness among other concepts and societal constructs. “To truly love we must learn to mix various ingredients - care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication.”
Black Fatherhood is Infinite
Black fathers are not bound to have the same experiences as each other simply because they are Black. Every father has their own unique story to tell—and here are just a few.
Images by @sirjulienjames, a TheBlkGaze contributor and collaborator.
bell hooks obituary: Author was pivotal to an entire generation of black feminists
bell hooks, whose incisive, wide-ranging writing on gender and race helped push feminism beyond its white, middle-class world view to include the voices of black and working class women, died on December 15th at her home in Berea, Kentucky. She was 69.
In Conversation with Tina Campt, on A Black Gaze: Artists Changing How We See
The Brown University professor’s new book considers the work of contemporary Black artists and the command of their practise.
The Comfort of Photos
My parents never really understood photography. They never saw it as a job, or even as work.
Work was physical afterall. It involved going to a factory or an office and, above all, work involved some sort of sacrifice.
The Best Advice I Ever Got
Creative hustler of all things visual content, Cynthia Butare, is a no stranger to a story about Africa especially those that are centred on her native Rwanda, its culture and its landscapes.
In this blog post, Cynthia shares her thoughts on the best advice she ever got, “Start with what you’re good at and expand from there.” This advice rings true for each and every one of us.
On the Depiction of Africans in Photo Contests
An interview with Nana Kofi Acquah and Shaun Connell that images of abject poverty – particularly those of children – continue to perpetuate visual stereotypes of a place that inherited the racist moniker of “the dark continent” in the 19th century by Europeans seeking to justify imperialism and slave trade.
We are more than caricatures of pathos. 
We are oceans and endless skies. 
We are deserts and forests. 
We are song and silence. 
We are womb and grave. 
Tell our stories well. 
We are Africa.
- Nana Kofi Acquah
Fixing Photoland 
Is racist behaviour endemic and institutionalised into the practice of some photography? The answer to that is undoubtedly yes, in my opinion.
Unfiltered Photography recently spoke to filmmaker Benjamin Chesterton, co-founder of duckrabbit and vocal campaigner against unethical behaviour in the photography industry.
Black Photo Libraries: Peter Magubane on the struggle for documentation
Is racist behaviour endemic and institutionalised into the practice of some photography? The answer to that is undoubtedly yes, in my opinion.
Unfiltered Photography recently spoke to filmmaker Benjamin Chesterton, co-founder of duckrabbit and vocal campaigner against unethical behaviour in the photography industry.
The Political Power of Photographic Archives
Lewis Bush on the troubling histories of photographic archives as organisations face resignations and revelations about the contents of their collections.
We, the Afropeans: Black photographers in Europe
The British photographer and author Johny Pitts has curated a series of images exploring Black identities in Europe for photography journal The Eyes Publishing. From Steve McQueen-inspired collage to a studio portrait with tomatoes, they explore feelings of displacement, community and belonging.
Beautiful struggle: black history reimagined
From a servant sporting goalie gloves to a 16th-century child soldier in studs, the self-portraits of Senegalese photographer Omar Victor Diop reframe African revolt through the lens of football fandom.
Watch
The Beauty of Human Skin in Every Color - Angélica Dass
An absolutely beautiful song, but the visuals
Photography, Power & the Ethics of Representation
In the 21st century, photographers from the geopolitical West continue to ‘parachute’ into locations previously unknown to them; imaging, imagining and presenting “othered” peoples and locations.
The lack of critical education about the history of photography and its role in racialising and othering people, and the contemporary perpetuation of colonial photographic tropes, adds to the problem. A myriad of structures maintain this imbalance of who gets to image, imagine and construct ‘African’ visual repertoires.
Photographer Laylah Amatullah Barrayn on Her Recent Black Love Series
Photographer Laylah Amatullah Barrayn on Her Recent Black Love Series
Laylah Amatullah Barrayn on Her Recent Black Love Series
Photographer Laylah Amatullah Barrayn on Her Recent Black Love Series.
Joshua Woods - Being a Black Photographer | MAYWORKS
Joshua Woods - Being a Black Photographer | MAYWORKS
Joshua Woods: Being a Black Photographer
Joshua Woods is a Harlem-born, Paris-based photographer and filmmaker. Joshua gravitates towards people with stories to tell. In this interview, he shares his artistic practice, the difference and similarities between Harlem and Paris, and what he has learned as an African-American in Europe. He also highlights the life of a black photographer in a white industry and mentors who have inspired his work.
A Black Gaze: Tina Campt and LeRonn Brooks in Conversation
A Black Gaze: Tina Campt and LeRonn Brooks in Conversation
A Black Gaze: Tina Campt and LeRonn Brooks in Conversation
What is a “Black gaze”? The idea of a “gaze” is commonly invoked as a shorthand for visual structures of dominance (the white gaze, colonial gaze, etc.) — but what does it mean to combine the gaze with Blackness? In conversation with Getty associate curator LeRonn Brooks, Tina Campt will unpack these questions as she sees them emerging in the work of Black contemporary artists.
Dear Philadelphia on Vimeo
Dear Philadelphia on Vimeo
Dear Philadelphia
With the help of their family, friends, and faith, three fathers unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community in North Philadelphia.
“Dear Philadelphia” is the winner of the 2021 Vimeo Staff Pick Award at BlackStar Film Festival.
Unfollow Me: An Evening with Jill Louise Busby and Jason Reynolds
Unfollow Me: An Evening with Jill Louise Busby and Jason Reynolds
Unfollow Me: An Evening with Jill Louise Busby and Jason Reynolds
“Unfollow Me” is a sharply personal and self-questioning critique of white fragility (and other words for racism), respectability politics (and other words for shame), and all the places where fear masquerades as progress. Jill Louise Busby’s social commentary manages to be both wryly funny and achingly open-hearted as she recounts her shape-shifting moves among the subtle hierarchies of progressive communities.
Events
April Frazier: Frame of Reference
A photographic journey through time, a reflection of memories, and experiences within family history.
The exhibition features the Black Chronicles on loan from Autograph ABP.
  • Until 5 March 2022
  • Fridays & Saturdays 11am-6pm
  • Houston Museum of African American Culture
  • FREE
Life Between Islands | Trailer | Tate
Life Between Islands | Trailer | Tate
Life Between Islands: Caribbean-British Art 1950s-Now
This exhibition explores the work of artists from the Caribbean who made their home in Britain, alongside other British artists whose work has been influenced and inspired by Caribbean themes and heritage.
This exhibition celebrates how people from the Caribbean have forged new communities and identities in post-war Britain – and in doing so have transformed what British culture and society looks like today.
Note, this exhibition includes the work of Lisa Brice (b. South Africa) who spent time in Trinidad. We raise an eyebrow to this.
  • Until 3 April 2022
  • Tate Britain, Millbank, London
  • Advanced book is recommended
  • £16/FREE with tickets for Members (Concessions available)
Deadline
The Art of Writing About Art Workshop
Writing is a big part of a photographer or any visual artist’s work. The portfolio is never complete without the statement. Yet, most visual artists find it difficult to write Artist Statements, essays. It’s not that you don’t understand what you’re doing. You do. But not in words.
This online workshop hosted by Buku Sarkar will help you develop the language and words you need to communicate effectively with curators, editors, gallery owners, funding panels and competition judges.
2022 GETXOPHOTO Open Call
Deadline: 10 January 2022
The GFX Challenge Grant Program, sponsored by FUJIFILM, is a grant program that awards 5 Global Grant Award and 10 Regional Grant Award to help aspiring creatives bring their imaging projects to life.
It is designed to nurture and develop the skills of emerging/promising content creators, giving them the opportunity to create content on topics that have significant meaning to them, while gaining experience using FUJIFILM GFX System gear.
Global Grant Award
  • Complimentary use of a GFX System camera body and two GF lenses for the duration of their project
  • Mentoring and technical assistance from Fujifilm technicians / product experts
  • US $10,000 Grant
Regional Grant Award
  • Complimentary use of a GFX System camera body and two GF lenses for the duration of their project
  • Mentoring and technical assistance from Fujifilm technicians / product experts
  • US $5,000 Grant
2022 GETXOPHOTO Open Call
Deadline: 10 January 2022
Getxophoto’s Open Call provides an opportunity for visual artists and photographers to exhibit their work at the next edition of the Festival, in June 2022. The theme to be addressed in the 16th edition is To Imagine.
The Festival invite artists from all over the world to participate in this call with proposals that use photography, video, installation, performance, actions, digital art or any other means of visual expression.
2022 Sony World Photography
Deadline: 14 January 2022
The Sony World Photography Awards features four competitions including two for 12-19 year olds and students:
• Professional competition
All entrants must be over 18. Photographers must submit a series of 5 to 10 images per category. Ten diverse categories to enter: Architecture & Design, Creative, Documentary Projects, Environment, Landscape, Portraiture, Portfolio, Wildlife & Nature, Still Life, Sport.
• Open competition
The competition is open to anyone. The Open competition rewards outstanding single images across ten categories: Architecture, Creative, Motion, Landscape, Lifestyle, Natural World & Wildlife, Portraiture, Object, Street Photography, and Travel.
Visura Project Grants for Freelance Visual Journalists
Deadline: 28 February 2022
A grant opportunity for Freelance Visual Journalists worldwide working on stories about climate change, environmental justice, gender equality, racial justice, and human rights. 
The Grant will support four freelance visual journalists or photojournalists worldwide each with a $2500 project grant, and a Lifetime Plus Membership to build a website via Visura. There is no application fee.
Get involved
Photographers Q&A
Published every Sunday, our Photographers Q&A series is an ongoing and thought provoking discussion with Black photographers from around the world. Submit your Q&A now.
Twitter Take Over
We are open to takeovers of our Instagram and Twitter accounts. If you would like to run a takeover then contact us.
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