LATITUDE: NGADI’S DEPICTION OF BLACK SENSUALITY, SEXUALITY & CULTURE THROUGH THE LENS OF FASHION

  • 2020-02-20

Ngadi Smart is an African visual artist, of Sierra Leonean descent, currently based in Cote D’Ivoire. Her works focus on photography and illustration. According to Ngadi, “the themes of her illustrative work fluctuates between female and male power dynamics, feminism, sexuality, and are often also fashion-inspired.” In Photography, her creatives are centered on people's expression of identity, including self-identity through fashion, and black sensuality from an African lens and point of view.

Born in London, and studied in the UK and Canada, the different countries and cultures that she has lived in have been a big influence on her artworks. Her latest photography project, “Latitude” is a depiction of black sensuality, sexuality, and culture. “My latest photography series was a story I shot for Atmos Magazine's second issue, entitled Latitude, a story based on the many facets of the word. More than just a system for mapping the world, latitude also means "freedom of action or choice." Atmos Magazine asked me to capture the meaning of "latitude" in my culture, through the lens of fashion. In keeping with the magazine's mission, we were conscious of our environmental impact: only local models & designers, materials and fabrics were used, with an eco-responsible vision,” Ngadi explains in an interview with Okay Africa.

The location for the shoot was Grand-Bassam, an old French-colonial seaside town which was once the capital of Côte d'Ivoire and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Grand-Bassam is also “a community of the N'zima people, which demonstrates the permanency of indigenous cultures, despite a serious environmental issue affecting it: coastal erosion.”

Photo: ngadismart.com