A Kind of Return brings together projects by Bishara Elmi and Luther Konadu that offer nuanced reflections on interpersonal relationships within Black communities. Konadu is an emerging Winnipeg-based photographer who takes self-portraits and photographs of close friends and loved ones. The resulting images present the subjects on their own terms, and challenge dehumanizing representations that have long been associated with the Black body in photography. Elmi is a Toronto-based artist who addresses the tension between displacement and belonging within relationships, particularly as it relates to the Black queer disabled experience. Using fabric, text, and moving and still images, Elmi’s work argues that the experiences of exile and marginalization can occur within the context of a relationship, not just from a physical location.
At the core of both of these projects is the question: What role can relationships serve for those living in oppressive conditions? Through their work, Elmi and Konadu explore this question culturally and systemically, while complicating stereotypical and narrow representations of Black communities.