Afrikans: a project by Aisha Jemila Daniels

Afrikans is an extensive photographic project on Aisha’s documentation of blacks on the Afrikan continent and transplanted blacks in her diaspora. English Globalization/Britainization/ Westernization or white supremacy has contaminated the aesthetic mentality of black people and the other races surrounding them. Everyone wants to be “modernized” or embrace their absolute whiteness.

With learning someone else’s language that person accepts the culture that comes with that language. In this case, Afrikans not only want to eat, sleep, and breathe like the Westerner, but put a great emphasis on looking like him. English Globalization or Westernization has de-territorialized the Afrikan continent and the transplanted blacks around the world- allowing the Westerner to oppress and marginalize them. Thus, controlling their economics, businesses, markets, politics, education systems and their image. The image is the most important- image is everything.

As a photographer, Aisha is a historian, she has control over the images the future generations of black children are exposed to. The Western media fails to have an accurate perception of blacks, which contributes to the challenges of self-hatred the Afrikan suffers through. Over the past couple years Aisha realized the polarization, lack of affiliation and support within the black community on the continent and in the diaspora. It is apparent this division and self-degradation among blacks in caused by Westerner’s “divide and conquer” concept. The purpose of Afrikans is to restore the authentic and royal image of Afrikans.  She photographs her models in traditional Afrikan or Diasporic attire with a profound amount of energy that radiates pure confidence and pride. This project is love, the love of self especially. The body of work aspires to bring unification amongst black people. She believes it’s vital for blacks to see the similarities between them aesthetically and culturally across the world to terminate the lack of affiliation. Aisha believes all black people have this common foundation, which is Afrika, and hopes her project visually expresses that for the black masses. Thus far, she has completed series entitled Afrikans in America of 2012-2015 and now Afrikans in the Middle East of 2015-2016.

The goals of Afrikans project is to retaliate to white supremacy in the Western media, unify black people through aesthetic and cultural similarities, and show their regal and profound image for the black youth because they are the future. Her ultimate goal is to promote a lifetime of discovery and research for Afrikan people, to restore memory, authenticity and correctness, which should evolve naturally while in the pursuit of knowledge. Essentially, she aspire to bring about cultural understanding and appreciation for the Afrikan people of the world.

About the author:
Aisha Jemila Daniels was born in August 3, 1995. She is a visual artist from Miami, Florida. She’s now a senior at Howard University, working on a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in photography. Aisha studied for some time in the United Arab Emirates, while there she received the Student Photographer of the Year Award by Martin Grahame-Dunn, one of the leading professional photography trainers of the United Kingdom. Aisha has been published by the ConnerSmith Gallery, In the Eleven Journal, Photography Live Dubai, Artigon Art Collective, Creative Conscience, and Golf Photo Plus.

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