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Mfon: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora

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Women Photographers of the African Diaspora is an exclusive and commemorative book launching a bi-yearly journal committed to establishing and representing a collective voice of women photographers of African descent. The inaugural issue of Mfon features 100 women photographers across the Diaspora. This iconic issue features an introduction by Dr. Deborah Willis, MacArthur Fellow and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. It includes conversations and essays written by women scholars, journalists and artists. Subsequent issues of Mfon will feature photographic essays of up to five photographers with in-depth interviews and essays that will contextualize the work.

Mfon is heavily inspired by the seminal book, Viewfinders: Black Women Photographers by Jeanne Moutoussamy Ashe.

Mfon is founded by award winning documentary photographer, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn and critically acclaimed, award winning visual artist, Adama Delphine Fawundu with the goal of creating awareness of the impact that women photographers of African descent have in the world. They are joined by Emmy award winning producer and Mfon’s deputy editor, Crystal Whaley.

Lifestyle scenes from Lagos, Nigeria

Lifestyle scenes from Lagos, Nigeria

Photo Credit: Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

In keeping with the idea of “my sister’s keeper,” the journal is named in memory of Mmekutmfon ‘Mfon’ Essien (1967 – 2001) a trail-blazing, visionary photographer who exhibited at the Senegalese Biennale in Dakar, Senegal and received an honorable mention in the American Photo magazine annual survey of the nation’s best photographers. She passed away from breast cancer the day before her series “The Amazon’s New Clothes” was exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art as part of the critically acclaimed exhibition “Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers.”

Mfon: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora will:
a. Promote an international representative voice of women photographers of African descent.
b. Fill a void while creating a space for intellectual discourse around issues represented by women photographers of African descent.
c. Create a powerful collective of women photographers, journalists, and scholars to build their practices through solid representation of their voices within the field of photography.
d. Create and establish the ‘Mfon Legacy Grant’ which will be awarded to emerging Black Women photographers of African decent starting this Fall 2017.
e. Subsequent issues of Mfon will be published bi-annually and feature women photographers of African decent as well as highlight the work of Mfon Legacy Grantees.

crystal project 3

Photo Credit: Johnette Iris Stubbs

The Go Fund Me Pre-Sale Campaign, which is in its final stretch, was launched to insure book sells and to have a vehicle to donate to the Mfon Legacy Grant. The cost of each book is $25.

Click here to make your donation today!

As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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