What does it mean for the body to become the canvas for someone else’s truth telling? Is the body aware of their role? How can we as photographers working in Africa remain conscious of how our stories can be consumed by Western media? With this continuous gaze, photographers across all genres need to take on more responsibility on how we create work and where we push it in our bid to share and expand. Often times, intentionally or unintentionally, the Black body becomes a canvas to project fetishized narratives--it is often a body made Black by the imprints of other people’s perceptions of what Blackness is. With our minds and our cameras, we are capable of not just documenting the people, environments and events around us; we are also capable of creating stories using people to push a narrative in spaces where we don’t often see ourselves represented. However, there is a danger of the individuals photographed becoming just a canvas for viewers and photographers alike to project their romanticized versions of what a ‘subculture’ looks like because it can be real and other times, a fantasy passed as fact. “Consumption of the Black Model” is a conversation piece that questions and explores how a body can be dramatized by photographers, and how this feeds the Western gaze. Who are we creating for? Who is eating our work?

- Yagazie Emezi in conversation with Neema Githere


Photographed, styled and directed by Yagazie Emezi

Models: Tunde of Fowler Models


Designs: Nyosi

Emmy Kasbit

Location: hFACTOR

hFACTOR is a social enterprise in Lagos Island, Nigeria, that transforms under-utilized spaces into creative hubs for the community and connects talent to global collaboration opportunities using three-fold engagement methods of:

a. open dialogue

b.) applied research

c.) periodical workshops.

hFACTOR’s thematic focus for 2018 is animal welfare. Through the language of art, they hope to raise awareness and mobilize change by encouraging individuals to develop a deeper sense of empathy, compassion, and respect for those who are different, starting with what is considered to be "basic" forms of life.

Using Format