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“I use my photography as an ode to Black beauty”- Cheyenne Boya invites us to embrace our identity


You could be having a bad day and stumble on Cheyenne Boya’s page on instagram, and you’ll almost forget that bad days even exists. We don’t know what it is about Cheyenne’s art that catptivated us. Perhaps the warmth, the use of neutral tones and the beautiful faces of Black women draws us deeper to her art.

Cheyenne is Amerindian (I’m not from there; that’s just my name). It’s a pretty name from an American native tribe. Boya is my second name, and it was also my grandmother’s name. There is no particular meaning but in Lingala (one of the languages that we speak in Congo DRC), it means: to come or refuse.

There’s no denial that Cheyenne has a unique name—very rare—and so we were moved to invite her for an interview so she can enlighten us on the roots, aesthetics, and the role of photography in portraying Black identity.

Cheyenne Boya