The Curator: Amanda Mozea
Photograph by Mehdi Aourir.
"OTHER is, perhaps, the story of all of us."
Amanda Mozea is the mastermind behind OTHER. She is a recent graduate of Harvard College hailing from western Massachusetts. She is currently living in Boston and working at MEDIAGIRLS, a female-empowerment non-profit in Boston.
Amanda was inspired to create OTHER after years of confusion about her racial identity both at home and at Harvard. The defining moment that set OTHER into motion years before its inception was when Amanda was told that at least she had "a little Black in her face," to justify her presence in a predominantly Black space within Harvard. From that moment on, Amanda felt the desire to create a forum to express what it is like to not fit neatly into a racial category in a place and time where race means everything. Or what it means to have complete strangers ask, "What are you?" Or what it is like to have a small part of your humanity denied by becoming a "what" rather than a "who." Or to be told that one is not "Black enough," "Asian enough," "Native enough." Or to have one's identity torn or questioned or denied by a single callus comment or probing question.
OTHER is full of pain and loneliness. OTHER is full of anger and frustration. However, OTHER is also full of hope and strength and bravery. OTHER is not simply Amanda's story. OTHER is not simply the models' stories. OTHER is the story of anyone who has ever felt like an outsider in a space that they wished to claim as their own. OTHER is the story of anyone who has been boxed into a category that they do not claim as their own. OTHER is the story of the confused, the resolute, the angry, the content, the broken, the whole. OTHER is, perhaps, the story of all of us.
The Photographer: Steve Osemwenkhae
Photograph by Steve Osemwenkhae.
Steve Osemwenkhae is a great believer in passion projects and social justice. When he heard that Amanda had a project in mind and no photographer or money, he jumped to the task.
What Steve loves about photography is the fact that he gets to use his creativity to bring to life photos created through his own unique art style; to be able to capture imagery that no one else can capture. To allow his "imagination to roam free through the body of the camera."
Steve has had the opportunity to shoot for Boston-based magazines, weddings, special events, and concerts. He has worked with talent such as Jasmine Solano, Lisa Bello, Louie Bello, and various actors and actresses from the United States and all over the world.
Currently, Steve is using his photography as a tool for social change by adding dialogue to his images. His project "No Makeup Series" has garnered global attention through media outlets such as Huffington Post, PopSugar, and Stylist. The series is intended to showcase natural beauty and whil allowing those who have been photographed an opportunity to voices their thorughts on makeup and their perceptions of beauty.
Follow Steve on Instagram: @simplyoutstanding!
Many individuals made OTHER a reality.
Here are just a few of them:
The models who shared their stories and their faces. In doing so, they made this project a reality.
Bolaji Ogunsola and William Greenlaw for their encouragement in the earliest days of this journey.
Meghan Mozea for her steadfast love and complete selflessness.
Deng-Tung Wang, Monica Marion, Fatima Bishtawi, and Hailey Reneau for their proof-reading, design skills, and moral support.
The Harvard Undergraduate Council for funding this dream.
Jatna Amador, Keith Mason, and Ailie Kerr, and Asia Stewart of the Student Organization Center at Hilles whose logistical mastery made OTHER's initial gallery opening at Harvard possible.
Brandon Dixon and Aafreen Azmi of The Harvard Crimson and Hunter Richards of The Harvard Independent for their coverage of the gallery's opening.
Mila Gauvin II of The Harvard Crimson for her in-depth coverage of OTHER: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2015/10/30/OTHER-photogallery-arts/.