Juliana Kasumu is a British-Nigerian photographer based in London using conscious imagery to highlight the interconnectivity of women, culture and fashion. Her subject matter is chosen based on a quest for personal knowledge concerning issues related to Africa and its Diaspora. By interweaving cultural research and stunning portraitures, she is able to express critical ideas with the intent of educating her audience. Photographs by Juliana Kasumu have been exhibited for the use of raising awareness to less spoken narratives by women of color.
“The basis of my photographic research has revolved around Black identity on an extremely personal level, with my identity as a British-Nigerian female being at the forefront of the projects I have undertaken. The constant battle on the policing of Black women’s hair and sexuality for example, are the themes I often explore in my projects.
Since the beginning of my practice in question, there has always been a constant struggle when trying to determine where I fit in regards to my work, and within a socio-economical context. Using memory-work as a catalyst for my research, I work hard to develop photographs that speak to both me and others who can relate to my ideas.
Thank you to @CNNAfrica for featuring my project "Irun Kiko" on the gram yesterday. This project was very much the beginning of many things for me, and I am so blessed to be able to continue on with the research through projects such as "From Moussor to Tignon". ✨ . . . #Repost @cnnafrica ・・・ “Before slavery and the #colonisation of West Africa, hairstyles were a sign of identification,” explains photographer Juliana Kasumu. “Hairstyles represented different countries, personal and social values, they were a sign of status in a community, and sometimes even denoted what immediate #family one belonged to.” Photo: @lovekasumu #CNNAfrica
Not long to go now… ✨ #Repost @mbawgallery ・・・ Opening Reception on January 7, 5pm-7pm at @mbawgallery, in collaboration with @olajuartgroup and @dreamweeksa – FREE and open to the public, see you there! "As decreed, women did in fact cover their heads, limiting the cultural visibility of entrancing hairstyles. However, intricate methods of head wrapping combined with foreign embellishments were astutely adapted instead, giving rise to the present day exoticism of the head-tie. In this photo-essay, Kasumu attributes the inspiration of such head wrapping techniques found in New Orleans to the cultural exchange between West⠀ Africa and the West Indies during the 18th century."
‘From Moussor to Tignon’ gives a unique perspective of the head-tie, not only as a means of re-appropriating customs, but also as an emblem of re-appreciation for one’s African heritage. As a continuation of my Irun Kiko series, this collection further exemplifies the interconnectivity between contemporary fashion and traditional culture ✨ ___________________________ #frommoussortotignon #okayafrica #blackandwhite #photography #exhibition #neworleans #senegal #goreeisland #stlouis #nola #headtie #gele #blackhair #tignon #moussor #julianakasumu #blackgirlmagic
#Repost @olajuartgroup ・・・ In From Moussor to Tignon, Juliana Kasumu explores the history of headwraps worn by women of color and the associated cultural symbolism. Here is an excerpt from an interview between curator Obafemi Ogunleye and Juliana Kasumu; OO: You’ve mentioned how New Orleans is paramount to telling the story of African women in the Diaspora. In what ways has working in the city influenced your perception of the Black experience in America? JK: This project allowed me the opportunity to visit New Orleans for the first time and I had the privilege of being surrounded by people who were knowledgeable of the city’s past, and its potential for the future. New Orleans is a place where the effects of colonialism are still so visible, it would be absurd to deny it. I wouldn't say working within New Orleans necessary changed my perception, but rather it confirmed just how severe the issues regarding race relations are, and how much we as a people are still in the process of decolonization, with a long way to go. Visit olajuartgroup.org for more info. #julianakasumu #frommoussortotignon #photography #girltownpm #headtie #headwraps #NewOrleans #nola
My main aim is to provide information on the important and sometimes forgotten histories that shaped the West Africa we know today, also bringing attention to the effects of colonisation in Africa and the diaspora. Projects such as ‘Irun Kiko’, give insight in to a very personal journey of self-discovery and my attempt to uncover truths about a cultural history that was not taught in the schools I attended, or even easily accessible when conducting research.”