Khalik Allah does not shy away from unvarnished insights about his environment in East Harlem, New York—an area that is often overlooked or stigmatized. In an extremely personal and unbidden documentary series, he records the lives of people around him. Under Allah’s empathetic gaze, the distinction between family, strangers, and loved ones seems to fall away—everyone is equal. His work could be best described as “street opera”; both his films and his photos sparkle with colour, and appear hyper-real, but are characterized by an unpolished edge.
The streets of New York that Allah photographs are inextricably linked to the history of street photography. Through his work, he embodies the attitude of a new generation of street photographers; those who see the camera as a way to be vigilant to social and racial injustice.
The work of Khalik Allah is part of the group exhibition Space to Breathe, curated by Newsha Tavakolian and on display in the Grote Kerk Breda.
Khalik Allah (b.1985, Brookhaven, New York, USA) is a photographer, cinematographer, and director. Using only analogue cameras, his photography shows the colourful characters who wander through Harlem at night. In 2016, Allah worked as a cinematographer and assistant director for Beyoncé’s video album Lemonade. In his documentary Black Mother (2018), the filmmaker travels back to his mother’s homeland: Jamaica. The film won the Yellow Robin Award at Curaçao IFFR 2018. His latest film, IWOW: I Walk on Water has been distributed by Dogwoof in the UK and will be distributed by Grasshopper Film in the US in autumn.
Location: Grote Kerk