black love african queer women
Photo by Mikael Owunna.

The Limit(less) Project Explores Black Love Beyond the Norm with 4 Queer African Women

Back in 2015, OkayAfrica caught up with Nigerian-American photographer and writer, Mikael Owunna, to talk about his ongoing documentary photography project that explores the visual aesthetics of LGBTQ Africans in the diaspora—Limit(less).

With Limit(less), Owunna uses the visual aesthetics of his subjects, who use their visual aesthetics to navigate their cultural, sexual and gender identities, to break down the assumption that LGBTQ Africans are “un-African.”

“Yes, we face terrible homophobia and transphobia both inside and out of African immigrant communities, but our lives are multidimensional and we are still people,” Owunna says to OkayAfrica contributor Jennifer Sefa-Boakye. “We still laugh, experience joy, love and more. We find ways to express ourselves and live out full lives as LGBTQ Africans despite these ostensible “limits” on our existence, and our visual aesthetics can be a key part of that.”

For Owunna, his new edition to the project, 4 Queer African Women, pushes a vital dialogue beyond what society discusses about love.

“It pushes a really important conversation about black queer love, black love beyond a heteronormative binary, love beyond a romantic dimension (between friends and within community) and also power in love for one’s blackness and specifically, black womanhood,” he tells me via email.

black love african queer women
Photo by Mikael Owunna.

In this series pictured below, get to know:

Mai’Yah, 18 
Country of Origin: Liberia
Pronouns: She/Her, They/Them
LGBTQ Identity: Queer
Instagram: @mai.yah
Tumblr: @Dwelah

Badu, 20
Country: Born and raised in NYC
African Background: Ivory Coast
Pronouns: She/Her
LGBTQ Identity: Pansexual, Androgynous
Instagram: @baduizm_adu
Tumblr: @needstoescape

Yéwándé (aka Yéwá), 18
Country of Origin: Nigeria (USA-born)
Pronouns: She/Her, They/Them
LGBTQ Identity: Queer
Instagram: @therealyewande
Tumblr: @blkpoetress-ye

Amadi, 18
Country of Origin: Nigeria (Born in the US)
Pronouns: she/her
LGBTQ Identity: Genderqueer, Queer, Androgynous
Instagram & Snapchat: @kidandfro

UPDATE (05.09.2017): Mikael Owunna seeks to take the Limit(less) project to Europe—learn more here.


Photographer: Mikael Owunna
Headwraps: @WrapsByJames