In a world still saturated with narrow-minded, and often stereotypical imagery of people of color, the work of British photographer Adama Jalloh offers much needed fresh air, revealing intimate, powerful moments that offer a sincere and rarely seen perspective of black life in South London.

A recent graduate of Photography at the University of Bournemouth, Jalloh’s lens now falls on varying freelance projects from fashion to portraiture. Her artistic roots however still originate and flourish in documentary and street photography, specifically of the black community in South London where she grew up.

Using primarily black and white film, Jalloh’s images feel almost timeless, immortalizing her subjects in their environment and highlighting the glowing beauty that is so often dissociated with black skin and black culture. Jalloh’s most recent project “You fit the description” tackles issues of racial profiling by interviewing and photographing young black and Asian men likely to be stopped, questioned and searched by police in London. Jalloh randomly approaches these men and asks if they have experienced racial profiling in the past and about their feelings towards this. The catalogue of (primarily black) faces, ranging from as young as 13-year old, serves as a harsh mirror reflecting how racism operates in law enforcement, robbing young men of color of their identities by painting them all with the same “threatening” brush.

Her work in this series has already been met with widespread acclaim, winning her the Undergraduate single image award of the British Journal of Photography’s breakthrough prize.

Kamau Wainaina