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UK creative Ololade Sonupe uses photography to better her community

London photographer Ololade Sonupe is using her gift to change how the world views the black community

Female creative Ololade Sonupe is changing the game, altering the world’s perception of the black community through her photography. Ololade has always been an artist of sorts, and found her talent for photography during a less than pleasant time in her life. “I started photography due to my own personal frustrations, I have always been involved in some sort of creative project, whether it were script writing, poetry, art, or drama.” she went on to say, “Starting university brought my creativity to a massive pause, and I felt limited to the ideas in my head that I said I would create but never did. So after realizing how much I had abandoned I decided to get into photography as an attempt to pick up various creative forms. I’ve always struggle to stick to one thing, I don’t believe in limiting oneself.” And thank goodness she did!

“My work revolves around colours and ‘soft’ poses, I want to make my subjects look beautiful, especially my black subjects, because they haven’t been made to feel that way throughout history.” Something she does a beautiful job of, “One thing I want for people to understand is that all humans belong to the world, so to be in a world that does not accept you is full of mental anxiety. Therefore by allowing black people of various ages to look at others that look like themselves, in a state of peace will hopefully give them what I like to call “the good butterflies” thus, allow them to feel more accepted.”

“My latest project 'The Durag Series', features black boys of various ages, in a somewhat ‘natural’ state. The series is an attempt to reform the association of black males, being labeled as ‘violent’, ‘aggressive’ and ‘antisocial’, particularly when in certain items of clothing or accessories. In doing so, I wish to remind society that the black masculine body is as human as any other no matter what is on it.”

Her inspiration for the project “sparked from frustration of seeing the media use images of black males in items of clothing like Durags and hoodies on news stations, as an attempt to manipulate the rest of society to see these males as more menacing and aggressive, such as Trayvon Martin and Mark Duggan. I figured that if this manipulation was going to continue in the media, I would help reform the stigma attached to the clothes, by presenting them as softer, more colourful and therefore less harmful, so that If the media attempts to use a so called “aggressive” picture of a black man in a hoodie or Durag, the negative stigma attached to it is removed. In the future I will move on to other items of clothing in different settings and look for ways to strengthen the intentions that my photography is trying to put forward.”

“My work excites me, it shows people that represent my experiences in a visual state of euphoria, and I hope others can feel this way by looking at it, without even having to know the message behind it.”

“In the future I hope to take images of various artists. I also wish to see my creative work in galleries and billboards, and for my pieces be adapted by other creatives. I wish to make a beautiful movement, that hopefully reaches people, into feeling that state of euphoria that we’re all longing for.” And that is exactly what she has done, we’re excited to watch her continue to achieve her goals as an artist.

Check out more of her work and follow below!

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