9/16/2013 marks the day I picked up my first two developed rolls of black and white film from Looking Glass Photo & Camera in Berkeley, Ca. Then inspired by a recently gifted family photo album commemorating my late mother's legacy, I picked up a 35mm camera while thrifting one weekend with a couple of friends. My objective was simple: document the joy and development of the new generation of our bloodline while also capturing the new friendships that were forming in my life. Though I wasn't the most professional or technical in the craft, I sought to make a photo album of my own for my future kids to explore and study.
Little did I know that from late 2012 to early 2016, Oakland California was going through a massive yet organic incubation of emerging art, collectives, and movements that helped shape what it is today. Luckily, my place of work and my group of friends were in the epicenter of it all. What's now called downtown Oakland's Uptown district would be our north star to assemble and catch everything from a social justice rally or a protest to concerts, DIY clothing pop-ups, black-led art shows, skate video premiers, and wine mixers for local creatives.
Today I'm asking the help of my community and GoFundMe to donate to my first photo-zine documenting that unique era in our growth as self-expressive black and brown millennials. The money will go into the production cost of the zine, including hiring a graphic designer for the layout, printing and pressing, and packaging. Funds will also be allocated towards new camera equipment to archive its release and promote the project efficiently. I'm looking to raise the finances by the end of August 2020, so I can shoot for a late September or early October 2020 release at the latest.
Please feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @WallahUmoja / @leftnrightrecords for updates and sneak peeks of photosets before pressing. Appreciate your support and patience! - W.U
- Mariyam Bey
- Margo Wiggins
- Ashley Robinson
- Gaines Family
- Matthew Walker