I started this project with one goal: I wanted to explore what it was like being a black man in the current climate in the United States - through the use of black and white portraiture. My end goal was to take the best four photos of each subject and put them together as a book. I would then try to do a gallery showing of the images.
As I progressed and took more photos and spoke to more people, I had a thought; yes, being black in America is - and has always been - a detrimental thing. Being a black man, the odds are not in your favour for avoiding jail. However, I began thinking about my original thought and it dawned on me that, while being black is hard, being a Muslim, immigrant, gay, or trans person is just as hard. It hit me that simply being different in this current climate both in the U.S. and globally is seen as a bad thing.
Keeping that in mind and being inspired by the total badassery of Saffiya Khan, I decided to expand on this project. So instead of simply “Being Black,” this new, all-all-encompassing project is going to be called “Being…”.
The goal of this project remains, at its core, the same: to explore what it’s like being different. I plan on doing this in multiple parts and the titles will change accordingly. For example, “Being Black,” “Being Gay,” “Being Trans,” “Being Muslim,” etc.
If you or anyone you know fit into any of the aforementioned categories or you simply feel different, please get in touch with me. Let’s talk, take some photos, and smile at those that dare to push their hateful agenda.
Thank you in advance for your generosity to support this art. All donations will go towards putting together an exhibit and publishing a book.
If you'd like to participate in this project, please fill out the information below. If you'd like to donate to this project, please hit the donate button!
Men who participate in this project will need to be comfortable with taking their shirt off. Follow the project on Instagram.