Image 1 by Mango Daniel

Magno Daniel Q&A

Magno Daniel talks photography with The Black Gaze.

This question has come to me a few times, in many different contexts and places in the world and each time my answer is the same, the Black gaze, is the perception of ourselves and that also answers why it matters.

How does this relate to your photography practice?

In the first question I might have answered this question as well, photography practice as so many others that are related to understanding ones surroundings play an incredible role in providing a mean, even if so particular to some, but that represents various other forms of ourselves and understanding the various other forms of self.

What do you want to say or address with your photography?

Memories. I might have not yet come into fully understanding all the specifics of my photography however, I am moved towards memories, some would eventually not relate to my peers. Memories carries us, the waking up, a voice in the sea, a book on the table, a smile from a relative.

Image 2 by Mango Daniel

What influences and inspires you? How is this reflected in your work?

Influence comes mostly from books, more recently writing has played an important role in shaping my views of photographs mostly due to the fact that I dive into thoughts that have never been recorded in any way, some completely true some more of storytelling. Music has also its contribution in bringing memories alive and guide me to the sounds of familiar places and feelings. All around, my surroundings inspire me – absorbing some of that reflects the tempo of my work, memories and some sort of storytelling.

I could add the African photographers I recently found out about, perhaps in the last three years understanding how some of them captured and eternalized their own people, whether as a reflection of more documentary outlets but also, from pure enjoyment of their surrounding and the life it reflected has contributed into looking and photographing more within the people.

Who are your favourite Black photographers from the past? Why?

Satu Mofokeng, Gordon Parks, Ming Smith and Malick Sidibé. From all of them out of the some aspects that differentiate their practice as photographers their sensibility combined with the sense of composition amaze me. Their work are truly learning experience.

Image 3 by Mango Daniel

Please describe the highs and lows of your experience as a Black photographer?

The highest of this experience is being able to make the Black diverse. As for the lows, that is an answer that could take a few days to discuss: opportunities, values, access… the list is long, however, being able to be alive and still producing some memories of ourselves brings peace.

Image 4 by Mango Daniel

What work are you producing and what more would you like to do?

One of my currently projects revolves around the city of Luanda, where I was born and raised. In addition to that, working on some still life mini projects with human figures like sculptures produced by a friend of mine Gretty Lisboa, and drafting a short film.

About Magno Daniel

Magno Daniel is a photographer based in Luanda, Angola. Magno’s intimate images are a witness to life beyond the headlines. Quiet, reflective and very much in the moment, his images challenge the established visual narrative of western media outlets.

You can find more of Magno’s work on his Instagram account.

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The Q&A is an ongoing discussion open to Black photographers of all ages, genders and genres.