Tope Ajayi Q&A
Tope Ajayi talks photography with TheBlkGaze.
The Black gaze is laying bare every element of existence and telling actual stories of what we feel about the world ourselves as Black people. It’s important to me because I get the opportunity to tell these stories too, through my lens.
How does this relate to your photography practice?
‘Cause I like breaking conventions and stereotypes while telling stories, that is the common ground.
What do you want to say or address with your photography?
I want to capture the Black experience, and tell stories about existence and vulnerability.
What influences and inspires you? How is this reflected in your work?
The concept of the universe and our place within it inspires and this has slowly pushed me everyday to engage my art in telling people why we are here.
Who are your favourite Black photographers from the past? Why?
John H. White. His work is timeless, which is what I hope to do with mine.
Please describe the highs and lows of your experience as a Black photographer?
Highs: When I get the deserved accolades for the amount of work I put into my craft.
Lows: Lack of access to the right opportunities and resources to create sometimes.
What work are you producing and what more would you like to do?
I’m presently working on several series opening up on the human condition, vulnerability and existence.
About Tope Ajayi
Tope Ajayi is a multi-faceted, multimedia Nigerian artist with a primary interest in time-based art. His art reflects the themes of the black experience, Afro-futurism and Afro-surrealism with larger subjects as the universe and our place within it. His work process is deeply spiritual, sometimes, experimental. But, very practical.
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The Q&A is an ongoing discussion open to Black photographers of all ages, genders and genres.