Photos

The 'Black Men With Flowers' Photo Series Aims To Cast Black Men In A Delicate Light

Photographer Lynette Luna teamed up with model Nana Ansah to make 'Black Men with Flowers,' a photo series about Black men and sensitivity.

All photos courtesy of Lynette Luna.


Soft, sensitive and delicate. That’s how Berlin-based Nigerian photographer Lynette Luna wants viewers of her latest photograph series to consider Black men.

The plainly titled Black Men With Flowers presents striking portraits of Ghanaian model Nana Ansah adorned in multicolored flowers of all shapes and sizes. With this series, Luna aims to show “a side [of Black men] that is often ignored by society” through the “delicacy of flowers and the femininity of bright colors,” she tells Okayafrica.

“In society, Black men have often had to become hyper-masculine to deal with the intense pressures projected onto them by society,” says Luna. “When we look into the general opinion of black men, we think of them as very hard, calloused, and tough. We do not allow them to be projected in ways of weakness or softness.”

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As for her inspiration, the 24-year-old artist revealed that the concept for the shoot stems from a quotation by the late African-American writer and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston: “If you are silent about your pain, they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it."

Check out the full photograph series above and visit Luna’s Instagram page to view more of her work.

Music

Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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