The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop: A New Whitney Show
Anthony Barboza, Kamoinge Members (1973). Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of Art.
© Anthony Barboza.
In 1962, a group of Black photographers decided to build their own ecosystem. They called themselves “Kamoinge,” from the language of the Kikuyu people of Kenya, which means “a group of people acting together.” In this essay for Artnet, Taylor Dafoe explores the Kamoinge Workshop-- a collective of photographers who worked outside of the mainstream to create portfolios of their work, open their own gallery, and center Black communities as their primary audience. The Whitney Museum's current show, “Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop,"is dedicated to highlighting the work of these important artists.
“What I came to understand was that they were not just teaching technical skills, photography skills. It really was about teaching the mission statement of Kamoinge, which was truth in representation and thinking about how your community is being portrayed and who is portraying it.” - Sarah Eckhardt