Vogue Italia, Photo Vogue is a curated Photography platform, juried by Vogue Italia editors, photographers and creative directors. The platform provides opportunities to connect with prestigious international exhibitions, competitions and festivals. All submitted artworks are juried by the Vogue Italia team and only those works that align with the aesthetics of the publication are published and shared with Vogue Italia subscribers across the world.
The platform was open for submissions recently, and without giving it a second thought, I sent in work from a recent series investigating themes of displacement, immigration and diaspora. The title of the work is “Where is home?” In this image a person in a yellow burqa is standing with feet firmly rooted in the water, while the body is in motion. The person is looking for a place or a semblance of home. There is an opening in the landscape, as if inviting the person toward hope, or even an escape, but the water only gets deeper and deeper if the person wades further away from the shore. The yellow burqa, in this particular image, signifies a representation of the ultimate Other. I collaborated on this project with a longtime friend, musician/actor, Jenica Hammett.
“Where is home?” has not only been published on the Vogue Italia, Photo Vogue platform, but the work is also featured as “Best of Photo Vogue” by Vogue Italia editors. There is nothing scarier than putting our work and ourselves out there as artists, especially when working with sensitive and personal themes. It is daunting to say the very least, and doubt is natural. With the rapidly evolving collaboration between art and technology, it is important, as artists, to utilize the various resources we have available to us, to connect our works with larger audiences, be it through social media and/or other online platforms. These resources and tools have given me opportunities that I will forever be grateful for. In 2017 I was invited for a portfolio review by Vogue Italia editors and photographers in Milan. In 2015, I was invited to Amsterdam by Pride Photo Award (advised by World Press Photo) and had the opportunity to present my photography at Old Church, Amsterdam. In 2016, I was invited to New York University by Of Note Magazine editor and founder, Grace Aneiza Ali, to discuss the role art is playing in the world of activism and social justice. Throughout my MFA years at OCAD University, I have used social media as a tool to engage with audiences across the world, learning from new insights and making deep connections in my practice based research. Regular engagement with digital platforms has made a huge impact on my career, culminating into global exhibition opportunities, fostering exposure, constructive criticism, feedback and growth.