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?UESTIONS: Khalik Allah

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

Capturing the raw fabric of life, filmmaker and photographer Khalik Allah. Both pain and beauty is absorbed in his photographs of people on the corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City.

Khalik's films Black Mother, Field Niggas and his latest I Walk on Water, encapsulates the powerful energy from his photography. His documentary filmmaking shares an emotionally haunting, social commentary.

How do you build relationships with the people you capture?

The relationship influences the art and the art is an aspect of the relationship. It starts from a genuine interest, and a visual sensibility.

Has your environment influenced your message?  

I'm influenced by NY and of course was influenced by all different hoods. NY and I are in a love relationship, sometimes it isn’t working but we keep building. My favorite characters are in NY though.

Your work captures both the natural beauty and undeniable pain of marginalised people, how does this impact your philosophy?  

My philosophy is about therapy, so I go where I think I can be helpful. Everyone who I photograph is also my therapist. Camera Ministry is about healing really.

What do you take away personally from the people you meet?

All sorts of stories. I listen. So they feel heard and let me in to photograph and listen more.

You refer to your work as “camera ministry”. What is your mission in the world?  

I came for the salvation of the world.

All images courtesy of Khalik Allah


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