BLACK BOY JOY
What were you hoping to achieve with this collection?
I wanted to create images that would diversify the current narrative set out against young black men. They are so much more than the narrow stereotype frequently portrayed in popular media. I think that a lot of artists of colour are on this mission too, and I find that really dope. I wanted to add my voice to theirs through my art.
Why is it important for black boys to be seen like this?
I think the re-narrative is vital because young black boys need to know the different avenues and narratives available for them. This is especially true for young black boys. To see themselves portrayed in a variety of roles and expressions opens them up to different standards for them selves, in their outside lives as well as their inner mental health.
What led you to the profession of photography?
It's harder if you don't know what that dream job is, which is where I was at. I just knew the things I was good at, so I started there. For a long time, I didn't even take myself seriously as a professional photographer, because that's not what my bachelors degree was in. But I sat myself down one day and just said Mimi, what's stopping you exactly? Brand yourself. Your are talented. Honour that talent.' And after a multitude of identity crises, investing in web design and personal branding, here we are! The short answer is, just do it.
Why do you think photography a good way of getting a message across?
Every medium is a good one, depending on who's behind the energy. I just happen to really understand photography and colours and angles and the feelings that they collectively portray. I wish I could have been a writer, but I didn't have the patience! So for me photography is how I tell a story.
What are your upcoming projects?
I'm actually working on a new project centred on Muslim women! It's more fashion centric, so I'm very excited to flex those muscles in a Muslim inclusive way.