The Black Gaze Newsletter | March 2022



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The Black Gaze Newsletter
The Black Gaze Newsletter
Hello Black Gaze Family!
We hope you are well and ready to enjoy the latest bumper edition of our monthly newsletter. We are pleased to share this edition with you.

The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.
Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up.
None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing. - Toni Morrison
The last few months have, in one way or another, provided an assortment of priceless distractions that testified to the laser-like accuracy of Toni Morrison’s astute observation.
Some people just want to pontificate on issues and demand answers to questions that serve only to distract us from the work we are here to complete.
From PhD holders who should know better (what price quality education), to infamous street photographers full of decisive ignorance, to Crying Karen and the Gaslighter Gang, we’ve been inundated with questions, challenges, and heckles by dissenting souls looking to distract, disrupt and discount the Black gaze.
We dedicate this song to them. If Marley can’t satisfy their souls then no human can.
We dedicate this issue to you, the salt of the earth, who continue on this journey with us. You, like us, are here to champion Black photographers across the diasporas.
Just know that ‘Black(ness)’ is still contested unless it is being used to commodify Black people, experiences and cultures. We’ve seen images, read articles and heard conversations that testify to that.
This edition of our newsletter is full of great work by Black photographers across the diasporas that provide a different perspective that is not centered on ignorance and the status quo. Join us as we continue to champion Black photographers.
Call For Submissions
Photographers Q&A
We are now accepting submissions for the next round of our Photographers Q&A series, an ongoing and thought provoking discussion with Black photographers from around the world.
Please share the link with Black photographers within your network.
My Peoples
Ken West
Ken, Atlanta-based photographer, responds to our My Peoples brief.
Mark Sealy: Race, Rights and Representation
This new arrival is a must read.
In Photography: Race, Rights & Representation Mark Sealy discusses the critical work photographic images do in culture. Through photography, the book engages with notions of history, alienation, migration, civil and human rights, community and representational politics.
Mark Sealy’s Photography: Race, Rights and Representation is essential reading for all of us rethinking images in the twenty-first century. Sealy narrates three decades of ‘looking’ by revisiting his own archive and gathering not only the ghosts of the photographic past but the voices of our future. This remarkable collection is everlasting as it brings the aesthetic and the political in at a critical time in our history.
Deborah Willis, Chair, Department of Photography & Imaging, New York University
This Separated Isle
With a foreword by Kit de Waal, This Separated Isle explores how concepts of ‘Britishness’ reveal an inclusive range of opinions and understandings about our national character.
Featuring a diverse range of fascinating photographic portraits of people from across the UK and their accompanying narrative stories, this landmark book examines the relationship between identity and nationhood, revealing not only what divides us, but also the ties that bind us together as a nation.
Jamel Shabazz Awarded The Gordon Parks Foundation/Steidl Book Prize
The Gordon Parks Foundation and Steidl have named Jamel Shabazz as the 2022 recipient of The Gordon Parks Foundation/Steidl Book Prize.
Launched in 2020, the Prize provides a publishing platform for artists whose practice reflects and extends Gordon Parks’ legacy. Shabazz is the second artist to receive the honour, following inaugural Prize recipient LaToya Ruby Frazier, whose appointment will culminate this spring with the release of a new publication dedicated to her body of work chronicling the Flint, Michigan water crisis.
Redressing power imbalances with Sarah Waiswa
The documentary and portrait photographer and discusses breaking gender bias, challenging narratives, reclaiming identities and why the voices of African women need to be heard.
Renell Medrano Embraces Her Dominican Roots in a Nostalgic Photo Series
“One of my most personal projects yet,” says photographer Renell Medrano, discussing her new series Pampara after its successful opening in London. In the series, a collaboration with WePresent, she revisits the Dominican Republic, the country her parents are from, and where she spent much of her childhood summer holidays. It had been quite some time since she last visited the place.
Caribbean Dreams by Photographer Samantha Box
“Caribbean Dreams” explores themes of history, identity, and the diasporic experience through still life and self portraiture, bringing together family heirlooms, Caribbean fruits and vegetables, seedlings, transplanted clippings, and Box’s own body and hair.
Hidden Inside a Boston Photographer’s 3,000 rolls of Film Are Unseen Photos of 1960s-70s Rock Gods
As a club emcee back in the day, Charles Daniels and his camera had backstage access to the likes of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Velvet Underground, and Jimi Hendrix. He’s finally ready to process his film.
Sheila Pree Bright: Brave Spaces
Photographic artist Sheila Pree Bright calls herself “very shy, very introverted”. A textile design graduate, she acknowledges, “I took a photography class my senior year, and that allowed me to speak.” As a part of her process, it’s important for her to speak, in Sheila’s way, with her subjects before the camerawork.
Jelani Ameer: Noah The Archivist
Jelani Ameer, creatively known as Noah Bility, reflects on a Twitter space that I hosted which revolved around the concept of archiving and its importance. Shout out to @_NicoleBPhoto for championing this.
Notorious B.I.G. Is Forever Synonymous With Brooklyn
Can you it’s been 25 years since Brooklyn’s finest, Notorious B.I.G. was murdered? This excellent NPR article celebrates Biggies legacy and features images by Brooklyn’s very own Russell Frederick.
Micaiah Carter:American Black Beauty
Micaiah Carter grieves his late father and reconnects with his family through this beautiful new series
The photographer’s solo show American Black Beauty features personal images of his nieces alongside models in fashion shoots, hoping to make the next generation of Black children feel seen.
Let’s Hit Aunt Goody’s Hot Spot!
Dexter McLean goes back to Olympic Gardens, where he spent his childhood before moving to Britain, to photograph family, friends and characters of all ages.
Atong Atem: La Prairie Art Award Winner
A new $80,000 art prize for Australian women has been awarded to a former refugee whose work – exploding in colour – is a response to colonial oppression.
‘People want me to say I’m alienated’: Ingrid Pollard on the myths of art, race and landscape
The artist and photographer on the important places in her life, the rise of British Black art in the 1980s – and being inspired by Steve Redgrave’s Olympics success.
Deutsche Börse Photography Prize Review
This year’s Deutsche Börse photography prize shortlist show includes Deana Lawson’s elaborately constructed tableaux of Black experience, which draw on, and deftly subvert, studio portraiture, documentary and vernacular traditions.
Raw Photos from Birth Photography Competition Capture Exhaustion and Emotions of Childbirth
Warning: this article contains graphic images of nudity and childbirth.
The International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IABP) has announced the winners of its 11th annual Birth Photography Image Competition.
Amplifying Black Voices: 100+ Black Photographers You Should be Following
Join with us in championing Black photographers and bring attention to the extraordinary and important work they create every day.
Commit To Writing and Publishing Your Own Statement of Ethics
The Photographic Ethics Centre has launched a campaign for photographers, editors, curators, organisations, and others in the industry to write and publish Statements of Ethics. The aim is to promote accountability, transparency, and ethical awareness in photography.
We Can Do Hard Things: Episode 79, The Power of Rethinking Everything with Dr. Yaba Blay
Dr Blay is one of our favourite academics. She’s everything anyone could want in a professor and more. In this podcast, Dr Blay talks allyship, which is something that we continue to wrestle.
Spoiler alert! This is a great conversation. This conversation is both a comfort and a challenge.
You are asking me to teach you how to care about something that is so basic. If you recognise us as human beings, period, it is so basic. And now you’re asking me to take time to prove it to you. - Dr Yaba Blay
Listen on Apple, Spotify, and Audacy.
Àsìkò Ade Okelarin: The UN of Photography Podcast
In episode 202, UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed reflecting on Stephen Shore’s most recent book, the Ukraine #PhotoPrint Day, Giles Duley’s ‘No More War’ and the impact images of conflict have upon us.
Àsìkò also takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which he answer’s the question ‘What Does Photography Mean to You?’
Strong Black Lens: Episode 1, Owning Our Image
No one tells our stories like we do. From film to the still image, having Black people behind the lens helps to shape our true narratives.
In Episode 1: Owning Our Image, photographers and image-makers discuss how photography shows up in our personal lives and allow us all to be storytellers in our shared Black experience.
Strong Black Lens: Episode 2, Finding Our Light
Who determines who is beautiful enough to be seen in the right light?
It goes beyond skin - when our experiences are valued, extra care is taken to shed light on it in the best way possible.
In Episode 2: Finding Our Light, the panel of experts discuss the importance of properly illuminating us in all our tones, talk technique and we highlight a few of the unit photographers that work on Netflix films, bringing the on-set imagery into sharp focus.
Strong Black Lens: Episode 3, Paying Tribute to Iconic Photographers Past and Present
Photography captures it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly. But what happens when your work brings the issues of society into full focus?
Listen as these stand-out photographers discuss how they handled one of the most pivotal times in American History.
Strong Black Lens: Episode 4, How Black Photographers Play A Role in Social Justice
In episode 4, the round table of photographers pay homage to the icon, Gordon Parks and other greats in the photography field, while also talking about the living legends who still inspire them and Karl and Kwaku share a moment.
Making Portraits to Honor People (feat. Agenda Brown)
Making Portraits to Honor People (feat. Agenda Brown)
Agenda Brown: Making Portraits to Honour People
In this Sean Tucker video, Agenda Brown talks about his process for shooting portraits which celebrate his subjects from capturing the energy on the shoot to recognising the qualities which makes his subjects unique. He also gives us a peak into his current portrait projects: ‘The New Chieftains’ and ‘Hand.’
Creating Community: Photography, Co-Authorship and Visual Storytelling
Watch back the conversation with our friends at Future Hackney, sharing our communities’ stories and discussing the practices of visual storytelling and co-authorship.
DOCUMERICA: Searching For The Seventies
The National Archives exhibit takes a new look at the 1970s using remarkable colour photographs taken for the Federal photography project called DOCUMERICA (1971–1977), created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
DOCUMERICA was born out of the decade’s environmental awakening and produced striking photographs of many of that era’s environmental problems and achievements. But it also captured the era’s trends, fashions, faces, and cultural shifts. The result is an amazing archive and a fascinating portrait of America in the Seventies.
Soweto Uprising: The Story Behind Sam Nzima’s Photograph
46 years ago, a protest against Afrikaans in the South African town of Soweto was violently put down by police, sparking a growing fight against apartheid with Sam Nzima’s photo of Hector Pieterson.
Newby Square Stories: Remembering Black Bradford
Newby Square Stories is a digital archive of reminiscences from people who lived and worked in and around the Newby Square area of Bradford. These stories came out of research that was carried out in Bradford’s black community for the Rooting project, funded by Bradford 2025 and The Leap. 
5 Tips For Photographing Black Skin Tones
Shotti NYC shares his 5 tips on how to accurately light black skin tones in your portrait photography, as well as the common mistakes some photographers make.
This Separated Isle
This Separated Isle, explores how concepts of ‘Britishness’ reveal an inclusive range of opinions and understandings about our national character. Based on the book Invisible Britain: This Separated Isle, initiated and curated by Paul Sng, it features a diverse range of fascinating photographic portraits of people from across the UK and their accompanying narrative stories.
This timely and pertinent exhibition examines the relationship between identity and nationhood, revealing not only what divides us, but also the ties that bind us together as a nation.
  • Until 15 May 2022
  • Tuesday - Sunday, 12pm-5pm
  • Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow
Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop
Working Together is the first major museum exhibition about the Kamoinge Workshop, a groundbreaking African American photographers’ collective founded in New York City in 1963.
The founders chose the name Kamoinge—meaning “a group of people acting and working together” in the Gikuyu language of Kenya—to reflect their shared dedication to community, collective action, and a global outlook.
  • Until 15 May 2022
  • Tuesday - Sunday, 11am-5pm
  • Cincinnati Art Museum
Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2022
The 2022 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize exhibition presents the nominated projects from this year’s shortlisted artists, Anastasia Samoylova, Jo Ractliffe, Deana Lawson and Gilles Peress.  
  • Until 12 June 2022
  • The Photographers’ Gallery, London
  • Price: £5 / £2.50 Concession
Open Call: Unpublished 2022
Deadline: 10 April 2022
Entries are now open for the 2022 edition of the international UNPUBLISHED PHOTO contest.
Young photographers born between 1986 and 2004 have the chance until 10th April to submit their portfolios.
Yannis Behrakis Internation Photojournalism Award
Deadline: 10 April 2022
This is the fourth consecutive year the annual “Yannis Behrakis” International Photojournalism Award.
The 15,000€ cash prize will be awarded to a full-length photojournalism or documentary work created after January 2018. The awarded project will be exhibited at the next Athens Photo World at an individual exhibition of the photographer.
WorkHaus Zine: Open Call
Deadline: 22 April 2022
Issue 3 of WerkHaus Zine is now open for entries (free to enter). The theme for this issue is: “and isn’t it better really to leave things only hinted at?”
Africa Geographic: Photographer of the Year 2022
Deadline: 30 April 2022
Sponsored by Hemmersbach Rhino Force and Natural Selection, this competition is seeking entries that encompass the Celebration of Africa - wildlife, landscapes, and/or culture.
The Republic: Open Call
Deadline: 1 May 2022
The Doug Pensinger Photography Fund supports emerging and early-career sports photographers.
The DPPF is committed to promoting inclusivity and diversity and to providing free merit-based access to its programs. There is no application fee and the process is open to all aspiring sports photographers.
7 photographers will each receive:
- A $5,000 grant, to be spent on career development
- Expenses-paid trip to the 2022 DPPF Sports Photography Gathering
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