Reimagining the Image: Walé Oyéjidé
|Date||May 01, 2019|
Join ICP and the Open Society Foundations for a special evening with designer and art director Walé Oyéjidé. Oyéjidé will share excerpts from his project After Migration, currently on view at the Open Society Foundations—New York as a part of the exhibition Moving Walls 25/Another Way Home.
Since 2000, more than 46,000 refugees and other migrants have died on the dangerous journey crossing the Mediterranean Sea to pursue more secure lives in Europe and beyond. Some flee their homes to escape persecution, others due to extreme economic hardship. Some are welcomed upon arrival, while many face discrimination and intolerance. We are all too familiar with stereotypical images that depict this journey: tragedies and rescue operations at sea; asylum seekers in line at check points; and families living in refugee camps.
After Migration attempts to depict these newcomers differently. Using fashion photography and featuring models who are themselves migrants, the project aims to elevate and humanize their stories through the use of visual culture and to subvert mainstream media representations. These portraits reaffirm self-worth and pride among those who have experienced suffering, but choose not to be defined by it. Rather than be photographed in settings intended to solicit pity, these men and women are portrayed as regal and stately, resisting representations that limit them to the circumstances of their migration. Oyéjidé will highlight these experiences through an intimate dialogue with the audience as he explains his process for this project.
About Reimagining the Image
This series examines film, photography, and new media from the artist’s perspective. Taking lens-based work as a starting point, Reimagining the Image invites in imagemakers who pose new questions about the social function of photography, use alternative and emerging practices, and ask critical questions about the form.
Walé Oyéjidé (b. 1981, Nigeria; lives in the United States) is a designer, writer, musician, and lawyer who aims to combat bias with creative storytelling. As the founder of the brand Ikiré Jones, he employs fashion design as a vehicle to celebrate the perspectives of immigrants and other marginalized communities. With the use of fashion photography and prose, his work aims to reframe the lens through which migrants are commonly seen in Western society. Oyéjidé was a TED Global Fellow in 2017, an Open Society Moving Walls fellow, and a National Geographic Explorer. His designs appeared in the Marvel motion picture “Black Panther,” and his work and designs have been exhibited in museums across the globe.