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News and updates from around the Ujima Ecosystem.

Black Magic with Adam Davis

We’d like to offer much gratitude to Adam Davis for coming to Black Market this year to capture the spirit and energy of our communities!!

Davis set up shop this past summer and fall to continue his Black Magic endeavor, attempting to capture 20,000 Black countenances and spirits across the country by way of tintype.

Tintype photography, a 19th-century photographic technique, involves creating images on metal plates, resulting in a distinctive and nostalgic aesthetic. Amidst the vibrant energy of Nubian Square, Davis brought us all into his tintype studio, and invited us to step into an alchemical and visual journey that invoked ancestral portraits and projected afro-futuristic means and methods of identifying ourselves.In each session, Davis created two portraits — one for participants to take home and cherish, and one to add to his own archive.

A teacher by training, Davis struck up conversations and allowed narratives, knowledge darts, and good-hearted nonsense to fill the air, punctuated by laughter and deep, real emotion; he produced a miniseries of captivating images that explore the depth of each of our faces and stories.

His stay with us developed out of photo sessions and into community connection and arts appreciation; Davis led a conversation at the MFA to dig into the history of tintypes, and shared energy and humor with us each day.

As we reflect on this extraordinary event, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to Adam Davis for his commitment to preserving and showcasing the beauty of Black Boston. Through his lens, he has not only frozen moments in time but also created a lasting legacy that honors the resilience, strength, and diversity of our communities and neighborhoods, one member at a time.

Adam Davis, an artist and photographer based in Los Angeles, California, is the creative force behind the Black Magic project. This project showcases Adam’s distinctive style of photography: tintype portraiture. Tintype, an antiquated photographic technique, involves capturing an image on a fine metal sheet coated with enamel or dark lacquer. It is also referred to as ferrotype or melainotype. Check out Adams Instagram here.


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