Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
Nikon D3X, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED
I first spotted Jama sat outside a cafe in West London wearing one of his suits. I couldn't get ideas of how to shoot him out of my head. Months later we made contact through social media and the project of Jama began in earnest. Though commonly presumed to be inspired by the Congolese Sapeurs, Jama actually took his inspiration from an advert on the tube he saw one day; it pictured a man wearing checked rousers, which made him smile... He looked around the carriage at everyone dressed in drab nondescript attire and made a decision to try and bring more joy to people's everyday lives. He is a key worker in a company that finds housing for the underprivileged and mentally ill; he has found his attire to be a certain therapy for these individuals. Jama has sadly faced criticism from his Somali community for being so ‘attention seeking’,but being such a source of joy for most is too much of a purpose for him to give up. I liked the idea of playing with the idea of his suits as a sort of camouflage in plain sight; for most he is nothing but a source of exuberant joy, but who knows what complexity really lies beneath the costumes of suits….
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