Apr 272019
 archive : Photoville LA

MFON Presents: Altar: Prayer, Ritual, Offerings

A panel discussion moderated by MFON co-founders Laylah Amatullah Barryan and Adama Delphine Fawundu will feature contributing photographers sharing perspectives on photography and spirituality.

Presenters: Intisar Abioto Traci Bartlow Idris Hassan

Moderators: Laylah Amatullah Barrayn Adama Delphine Fawundu

Location: Annenberg Space for Photography

Presented by:

  • MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora

Presented by MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora is a panel discussion moderated by MFON co-founders Laylah Amatullah Barryan and Adama Delphine Fawundu will feature contributing photographers sharing perspectives on photography and spirituality.

Presenter Bios

  • Intisar Abioto

    Intisar Abioto

    Intisar Abioto is an artist engaged in dancing, photography, and writing. Utilizing a research focus on the global African Diaspora, her form of story inquiry as a way of life has taken her from Memphis to Berlin to Djibouti seeking the stories, experiences, and dreams of people within the diaspora.

    Abioto has shown her photographs of people of African descent in Oregon at venues including the Multnomah County Public Library, Powell’s City of Books, University of Oregon’s White Box Gallery, Portland State University’s Littman Gallery, and Ori Gallery.

    She’s the creator of The Black Portlanders, an ongoing photo essay and blog that’s imaging people of African descent in Portland, Oregon. The Black Portlanders blog documents her interviews with black Portlanders. Once the text is posted alongside her photographs, they become compelling visual essays. She was a contributing photographer to MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora (2017) and her photographs were featured in the Urban League of Portland’s State of Black Oregon 2015.

    Along with her four artist sisters, she is the co-creator of The People Could Fly Project, a 200,000-mile flying arts expedition exploring realities of flight and freedom within Virginia Hamilton’s award-winning book, The People Could Fly. Abioto has a degree in Dance and has performed at Paragon Gallery, Portland Art Museum, and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.

  • Traci Bartlow

    Traci Bartlow

    Traci Bartlow has been called a community healer. A native of Oakland, California, she is a multi-faceted performance and visual artist who has used her love of dance to expand her creative and leadership skills.

    Ms. Bartlow is a longstanding, devoted contributor to many social and creative movements in the Bay Area, and is one of the founders of Eastside Cultural Center, a building in East Oakland owned and operated by artists and activists of color.

    Traci Bartlow owns and operates B-Love’s Guest House in West Oakland which features a garden, gallery, and performance space. Ms.Bartlow is currently developing Oakland Picture Lady: Tales of a 90s Girl, a photography exhibition with stories of her days as a hip-hop photojournalist in the 1990s.

  • Idris Hassan

    Bay Area based photographer and visual artist Idris Hassan is dedicated to uplifting, cultural, life moments through her creative work. In her evolution as a documentarian she has traveled across the country and abroad capturing the visual essence of various communities.

    Her photography and collage works reveal the worlds of artists, musicians, and families, showcasing the legacy of creative culture. Her style evokes such greats as Gordon Parks, Romare Bearden, and Carrie Mae Weems. Ms. Hassan’s photography, collage, and video work has been featured in the The Black Woman is God exhibition at SOMArts in San Francisco, the Black Artists on Art: The Legacy Exhibit at Oakstop Gallery, the Annual Art of Living Black Exhibition at the Richmond Art Center and at various exhibitions in the Bay Area.

    In 2016, Ms. Hassan exhibited her work as part of a residency at Green Olive Arts in Morocco, Africa. Her work has been featured in the Summer 2015 issue of African Voices, A Soulful Collection of Art and Literature. In 2018 her photography was featured at Photoville in Brooklyn, New York City, as part of the exhibition Alter: Prayer, Ritual, Offerings curated by Women Photographers of the African Diaspora.

Moderator Bios

  • Laylah Amatullah Barrayn

    Laylah Amatullah Barrayn

    Laylah Amatullah Barrayn is a documentary photographer and writer. She is the co-author of the independently published MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora, the first anthology in nearly 30 years that highlights photography produced by women of African descent. Barrayn is a frequent contributor to the New York Times. Her work has been included in books like Black: A Celebration of a Culture edited by Dr. Deborah Willis, Photography, A Feminist History by Emma Lewis, and Streams of Consciousness: Bamako Encounters — African Biennale of Photography edited by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung.

    Barrayn’s personal and professional projects have taken her from Minneapolis to Malaysia to Martinique to Mauritania, among many global locales where she focuses her inquiries on Black diasporic communities with a special interest in religious traditions, aesthetics and the experiences of women. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, with solo exhibitions at the Museum of the African Diaspora San Francisco and the Taubman Museum of Art (VA). In 2018, she was included as one of the Royal Photographic Society’s (UK) Hundred Heroines. Barrayn earned an M.A. from New York University. She is currently working on a book on contemporary Black photographers.

    Photo Credit: Alex Bershaw

  • Adama Delphine Fawundu

    Adama Delphine Fawundu

    Adama Delphine Fawundu is a photographer and visual artist born in Brooklyn, NY to parents from Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea, West Africa. She received her Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University School of the Arts.

    Ms. Fawundu has been documenting global hip-hop and urban youth culture for over twenty years. Her art re-imagines and glorifies the strength of African and Black diaspora culture and identities that continue to evolve, despite the social violence of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and colonialism.

    Ms. Fawundu is a co-founder and author of the book and movement, MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. She is currently an artist-in-resident at the Center for Book Arts in New York City. Her awards include the Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts Photography Grant, and the Brooklyn Arts Council Grant.

    Ms. Fawundu’s works can be found in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Norton Museum of Art, Corridor Art Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and David C. Driskell Center for the Study of Visual Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora, University of Maryland.


  • MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora

    MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora

    MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora is an independently published anthology edited by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn and Adama Delphine Fawundu. MFON features photographic works created by 118 African and Diasporic women artists representing 27 nations. It will soon be relaunched as an online platform. Our goal is to promote an international representative voice of women photographers from continental Africa and its diaspora.

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