Hello! You can call me Momo or Afro; either one is fine by me. I am a multidisciplinary cinematographer and photographer born and raised in New Jersey. I’m Sierra Leonean, and I am currently based in the Los Angeles area.
I am dedicated to telling honest Black stories without regard to the white gaze. To elaborate, since the beginning of cinema, films like the birth of a nation spread sinister depictions of Black people conjured straight from the white gaze. The coon, the nanny, the buck, the tragic mulatto, etc. these were distillations of how white people categorized us. At a certain point, we started directly resisting the white gaze in the media.
The Blaxploitation era of filmmaking was largely a response to that earlier era. But I still take issue with this way of depicting Black stories because how honest can you be when part of your motive is resisting the white gaze? Sometimes we [Black people] will do things that seem to fall within the white gaze, but of course, we don’t always do that. Put more simply: Sometimes I wanna eat a bucket of fried chicken, but that’s not like all I do, bro. I like philosophy and shit too.
Besides that, I am obsessed with the space between reality and fantasy. I think it’s especially important to stretch our imagination as we pursue true liberation. It’s important because we’re striving towards something we haven’t experienced. We need to at least try to see it; remember how I said I want to tell stories without regard to the white gaze? We live in an anti-black, patriarchal, anti-LGBTQ, and ableist society. I don’t know if it’s possible to imagine stories outside of the white gaze under these conditions, nor do I care. Imma still try to do it tho. It’s the least I could do.