Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars, to change the world. Harriet Tubman.

From 9 March to 7 May, the UK Black Female Photographers community (UKBFTOG) takes centre stage at the Fujifilm House of Photography in London with an exhibition titled Living the Dream.

Portrait by Rele James

See Me by Rele James

Founded by Jemella Ukaegbu in 2017, the UKBFTOG has grown into a community of nearly 500 emerging, mid-level and professional, award-winning photographers specialising in a variety of genres. The group offers learning and development support and activities that range from studio meetups, photo walks and assisting at photography commissions, to public group exhibitions like this one.

Using photography’s unique power as an instrument to empower women, the exhibition brings together 51 talented Black female photographers of different levels in celebration of culture, creativity and womanhood. For centuries women have gathered to care for, defend, and support each other to freely become the best version of themselves. While continuing to strive for fairness and equality UKBFTOG members also recognise they are their “ancestors’ wildest dreams”.

The captivating visual display explores the past, present and future of photography, with artists drawing inspiration from their personal experiences and reflections that have informed and shaped their imagination and perception of self and other.

Speaking on the theme of the exhibition the curator, Dominique Nok, says,

‘I would love the viewer, no matter race, no matter gender, no matter social status, to find within themselves common ground with the image-makers and their works. No ethnicity is the norm of what life should look like, so we dare you to share dreams and aspirations with people who don’t look like us. By taking away this limitation, I believe hidden potential will be unlocked and dreams can be realised.’

Portrait by Naomi St Juste

Jessikah Inaba by Naomi St Juste

Alongside the thought-provoking images created by members of the UKBFTOG, the exhibition will also include several archival pieces on loan from the McKenzie Heritage collection which reflect the life of Black life in Britain in the past. By drawing parallels between the past and the present, socially conditioned biases can be challenged. Through the display of Black life in Britain back then, juxtaposed with life in Britain through the lens of UKBFTOG members now, inextricable connections will be highlighted and commemorated.

Theo Georghiades, General Manager at FUJIFILM UK said:

“At Fujifilm, our passion and heritage lies in photography, so naturally, we love nothing more than encouraging people to capture photographs of the world around them. However, it is a fact that much of the photography we see doesn’t actually reflect the diversity of our communities. We are proud to partner with UK Black Female Photographers on the Living the Dream exhibition to continue our support of creative communities in helping increase representation and diversity in photography”.

Living the Dream seeks to inspire future generations to reach for the stars. Visitors are invited to enter the gallery space with an open mind, envisioning their dreams whilst engaging with the artists’ boldly captured images.

Exhibition Information:

Dates: Thursday 9 March 2023 – 7 May 2023

Location: FUJIFILM House Of Photography, 8-9 Long Acre, London WC2E 9LH

Featured artists: Aicha Thomas, Amaani Oluwa, Angella Mofondo, Annette Turner, April Alexander, Ashleigh Willer, Ayọbami Elegunde, Bethany Peters, Blanche Nicholas, Bonnie Paul, Boudoir by la, Celina Mervine, Chantelle Parson, Dominique Nok, Elizabeth Okoh, Funmi Akingbe, Gifty Dzenyo, Hasna Tayyar, Jade Reynolds-Hemmings, Jemella Ukeagbu, Jo Sealy, Joanne Appiah, Jumi Popoola, Kai Campbell, Keisha George, Kevanna Etten, Kimberly Saddler, Kudzai, Laura Rose, Liliana Séca Santos, Mariochukwu Washington-Ihieme, Margaret Hanson-Omani, Maria Oyeniyi, Marlene Landu, Monika Mabiki, Morlene Fisher, Musa Bwanali, Naomi St Juste, Naomi Williams, Rachel Blake, Rebecca Orleans, Rele James, Sahara Ashanti, Samaria Ofuasia, Shade O. Thompson, Shani Weekes, Sophia Loren, Tessa Lwanga, Tianna J Williams, Tobi Sobowale, Violeta Sofia.

Photography by UKBFTOG members on exhibition

Monika Mabiki


Portrait by Monika Mabiki

Blossoms Petal by Monika Mabiki.

Mabiki is a south London-based photographer. Her compositions deliberately capture people in varied forms to expose their multi-layered realities as a main theme of her work. Blossom’s Petal captures Josette, a young Londoner, in the garden of her beloved grandmother’s house, which she is purchasing this year.

Boudoir by la


Giving Flowers by Boudoir By la

Giving flowers is driven by the idea that we should give women their flowers now – make them feel beautiful, sexy, and loved in their own skin. Historically, women have not been allowed to celebrate their sensuality but Boudoir photography is changing that, creating a style that empowers women and gives them more freedom to explore self with less stigma, thus living the dream.

Hasna Tayyar


Self portrait by Hasna Tayyar

Nurturer by Hasna Tayyar. We all have different views on what womanhood actually is, but for me, the overpowering theme is to be a nurturer. As a woman, I have constantly been nurtured by other women from childhood all the way through to adulthood, and I have discovered that it is something that I have now taken on myself, and extended into my own relationships.

Hasna is a British Jamaican/Turkish Cypriot digital and analogue photographer. After graduating with her BA Honours degree in photography, Hasna began to explore her craft by photographing her own personal projects which primarily focused on documenting moments with her friends and family. It was through this that she realised that this was her favourite kind of work, and this became her main affair. A lot of Hasna’s work highlights her relationships and emotional connections with those around her. She also has a passion for documenting her ongoing exploration of her identity.

Womanhood. The word alone sparks so many different thoughts and emotions, but I find that it is completely subjective. We all have different views on what womanhood actually is, but for me the overpowering theme is to be a nurturer. As a woman, I have constantly been nurtured by other women from my childhood all the way through to my adulthood, and I have discovered that it is something that I have now taken on myself, and extended into my own relationships. This photo series captures examples of nurturing in my own personal life, this image is a self-portrait of Hasna and her partner.

Amaani Oluwa


Portrait by Amaani Oluwa

Right Where We Belong by Amaani Oluwa.

A project that was inspired by Amaani Oluwa’s younger sisters. “Growing up as a black female, you feel as if you’re trying to find a place where you belong or fit into. We witness young girls point out differences between each other and claim their blackness differs based on the colour of their skin, hair texture and features. This project is a photo series presenting that there is nowhere else you need to be, you are who you are regardless and right where you belong.” Amaani explores themes such as soft femininity and playfulness; themes that are not often associated with the world’s outlook of a black girl, a London-based photographer, with an academic background in Creative Direction. Through her practice, she empowers others and tells stories through portraiture, inspired by those around her by translating these into visual concepts. With a history of working mainly within the kid’s fashion industry, her work is often playful and vibrant.

Sophia Loren


 Portrait by Sophia Loren

This Ability by Sophia Loren

One of the world’s underrepresented miracles is the magic of motherhood. Flued by passion and determination life will flourish where both are found. My
passion for the journey of women, more than Black women, is the determination we have no matter the circumstance presented to us, to be
heard, seen, and understood. As a teenage mum, finding my passion in my forties was my rebirth, my own chance to be seen, heard, and understood.

Related articles:

Best photography exhibitions to see in 2023

UKBFTOG: the success of a group dedicated to black female photographers

Antwaun Sargent: On exhibiting The New Black Vanguard

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