Ima Mfon: Nigerian Identity

More than just black

Ima Mfon had already been discovered by the time he showed his thesis project this past October, 2015, at the School of Visual Arts Thesis Exhibition in New York. One of his images graced the show’s publicity and CNN had published an article.

“As an African living in America, I find that the line between celebrating and exoticizing African culture is increasingly blurry. To add some clarity to the current discourse, I photograph my subjects in an elegant and direct manner. It is my hope that this will create a connection between subject and viewer. It’s also my way of challenging viewers to understand what it is like to be ‘the other.’ Above all else, it is a reminder that the culture and identity of a people should be always be appreciated, respected and honored.”

“‘Black’ has always been used as a generic descriptive label. “The angry black guy”; “The new black sitcom”. I see myself as being more than just black. However that is usually not how I am perceived in America. Regardless of my unique heritage, I am reduced to being just black, The homogenization of the skin tones in my project is my commentary on the tendency to reduce people to just a color.” – Ima Mfon, New York City, 2015