An Ode to Afrosurrealism

A photographic art display exploring contemporary relationships with spiritualism, reality and surrealism, through a Black British lens.

Drawing from personal experience, mythology and symbolism, artists Hamed Maiye and Adama Jalloh explore new ways to imagine spiritual identity through photography.

Afrosurrealism is a visual and literary movement that uses the surreal and otherworldly to visualise the present. It was formally established as a visual and literary movement in 2009 through the publication of D. Scot Miller’s AfroSurreal Manifesto. This has contextualised work being produced by Afrosurreal artists and writers since the 1970s.

Afro-Surreal presupposes that beyond this visible world, there is an invisible world striving to manifest, and it is our job to uncover it.
D. Scot Miller, AfroSurreal Manifesto, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, 2009

The exhibition highlights in particular the spiritual bond between twins and the meaning of the number 2 – images of twins are used throughout the series to show the mirroring of reality and surrealism, symbolising union and division.

An Ode to Afrosurrealism also aims to inspire younger artists to consider different ways of creating art by looking outside the usual canon of spiritual iconography.

In this photo series we pay homage to Afrosurrealism, a visual and literary movement which considers what lies beyond the visible and material world, exploring the reality of the present and creating art that expresses the “otherworldly”.

We use Afrosurrealism as a visual framework, drawing on mythology and symbolism, as well as our personal experiences as artists, to present new ways to imagine spiritual identity.
Hamed Maiye

With special thanks to:

Kashmir Wickham, Indea Lewis, Tamibe Bourdanne, Tunde Awoyemi, Ysaana Paul, N’aami-Li Paul, Georgia Bowen-Evans, Chelsea Bowen-Evans, Jahmaine Johnson, Jordon Johnson, Bianca Saunders, Nadine Mos, Jazz Grant, Jawara Alleyne & The Swiss Church in London, & all the dreamers & surrealists.