In a world filled with hate and potential danger to them simply on the ground of their origin, their sheer ignorance to these factors and simply living out their best lives captivates me the most. When I take their pictures, I silently pray that they do not grow to witness the world we live in now. That of course, and the fact that black children are arguably the most beautiful set of human beings you would come across at any point in time.
That’s right Ario! Children are so adorable not until you come home to a clutter of toys scattered all over your home; shout out to all parents. But jokes apart, children are irresistibly charming, and we can’t seem to agree any more with Ario James’ reason for capturing images of children. The 26 year old unbottles the significance of Black children and African culture to his art:
I would want my images to first and foremost convey a great sense of Black pride. I take huge pride in my origin and as such, I would want people to see that first in all my works. I would also want for people to see how much ingenuity that comes with my work; how it stands out against a lot of other good works out there.
I would say that my background makes up for over 50% of my passion for photography. I live in a place where a lot can be said through art. I decided to tell these stories through photography.
To me, telling the story of Black people cannot be overemphasized. We live in a world where any turn we make, we see racism and hate crimes against black people. It is good enough that we have the music and the movie industry doing their lot respectively, but I think a continuous portrayal of our history, culture, lifestyle and story(ies) through pictures and images will also go a long way too.
The streets of Africa are my best shoot location. Anywhere I go—no matter the city, country or location—I subconsciously find everything I need to make a great shoot on the streets. Something about our environment is completely creative, with various colours, prints, structures and architectures. I just try to make the best out of it and I must say, I have never been disappointed.
I am pretty cynical when it comes to my work, so I tend to look at all my recent works, find out what I may or may not have done correctly and try to not follow the same pattern while I work on the most recent ones.
Now switching over to the motivational phase of this story, Ario admits that he listens to music while he creates arts. He also shares why he felt so determined to fight for his passion.
I listen to a lot of Latino music while I work. I really do not have a favourite; I just like all of them. I also listen to a lot of Afropop and R&b music. Though it all depends on my mood while working, I might just decide to listen to Jazz all through.
I would say the day I decided to not give up and rather pursue my passion in photography I am more than grateful that I stood firm against everything I faced.