What was it like growing up in Italy?

Growing up was quite hard as a black person. I was born in the early 90s, and my parent's generation was considered to be the first group of immigrants that arrived in Italy, so that alone can give you an idea of what sort of vibe was going on.

 

There was a point in my life where I was going through an identity crisis, not knowing where I belonged. I wasn't seen as Italian because of the complexion of my skin, despite being born there. I wasn't seen as Nigerian because the Nigerian community felt I lacked cultural understanding. These unfavourable experiences have taught me a lot and have made me the person I am today.  I embrace both cultures - I consider myself Afro-Italian.

 

What are your thoughts on the portrayal of black people in photography?

I would love to photograph more people of colour positively. I feel we’re underrepresented in society, and I firmly believe that it’s the artist’s job to highlight these problems.

 

When did you first pick up the camera?

In high school. Before photography, I used to paint. I was never a great fan of photographs, I used to think that photography wasn’t a form of art and that photographers were not “real” artists. It wasn’t until my photography tutor asked us to do a school project -  I chose to take photographs at my dad's friends wedding - this experience alone changed my view about photography. I realized then that photography wasn’t just taking pictures, but had something more to offer.  

 

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Shoot More! And have more confidence in your work.

"I wasn't seen as Italian because of the complexion of my skin, despite being born there."

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