Harlem meets Peckham in a new exhibition of street photography at Photofusion opening this week.
‘Wisdom Cries In The Street’, is the first UK show of New York street photographer Khalik Allah alongside Peckham street photographer and Photofusion member Adama Jalloh. Curated by Eddie Otchere, this is a rare opportunity to view the work of two enigmatic photographers immersed in their communities who document the complex nature of identity.
“I tell people that my camera is a healing mechanism,” Allah says. “Let me photograph it and take it away from you.”
Khalik Allah, who Time.com has called “Harlem’s official street photographer,” has been photographing on the corner of 125th and Lexington, at night, since 2012. Armed with a Nikon FM2 and a few rolls of film, he produces work that sits at the intersection of street photography and environmental portraiture. His subjects are framed within the landscape of life on the margins, defined by sidewalks, bus lanes and cladding.
Within urban society there are a multitude of street photographers watching communities go about their daily grind, collecting evidence that illustrates a belief about their urban realities. For this exhibition, we literally scoured the globe to find the best examples of contemporary, progressive street photography.
Adama Jalloh’s photographs are an act of socio-political defiance in the face of preconceived ideas about working class communities and post-colonial migration. Through her work, she fights these notions and presents a more honest picture of South London life.
Jalloh and Allah have never met in person, although they are governed by the same photographic ideals. Both are traditionalists in their choice of cameras and film. They lean on the portrait as a means of enfranchising their street-framed subjects. However, their imagery is starkly divergent. Allah captures his street at night, his hunting ground being a single block in Harlem. Jalloh shoots by day on the roads between Brixton and Peckham. It’s in this contrast that we can begin to access the street, how it is documented and to perhaps consider the world as one sprawling human hinterland.
‘Wisdom Cries In The Street’ is opens from the 21 July till 23 August 2017 at PhotoFusion Gallery located at 17a Electric Lane, London, SW9 8LA. Opening Hours are Monday – Saturday, 10:30 – 17:30 and admission is free.