New photo blog captures diversity of Ottawa’s Black community
A fitness instructor and mom. A martial artist and musician. A youth worker. An African dancer and designer.
Kafia Barkat and Vanessa Dorimain say they weren’t seeing a wide range of Ottawa’s Black community portrayed in the public realm, so the pair teamed up to create a new photo blog called The Melanin Project to spotlight the diversity of Black people who live here.
“You know, the narrative is always around Black scholars. We hear about Black lawyers, we hear about Black doctors. There’s also normal Black people, you know?” said Barkat, who works at the University of Ottawa and moonlights as photographer using the name Kafia Someday.
“There’s a lot of us here and we’re very involved and doing so many different great things. But we just don’t know about each other,” added Dorimain, who writes the stories for the site.
“It’s important to showcase how we’re so different … but we are still so beautiful in all of the things that we do.”