In celebration of Black History Month, caribBEING collaborated once again with Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturdays series on Feb. 1 presented Jamaican-born, Brooklyn-based street photographer, Radcliffe “Ruddy” Roye. The evening was set to explore artistic contributions and influences from the African-Caribbean Diaspora.
Roye, who specializes in editorial and environmental portraits, was featured in the NY Times and the New Yorker and more recently named one of Complex Magazine’s 50 Greatest Street Photographers. He calls himself the Instagram activist and has committed himself to social justice.
With his uncanny skill of capturing the perfect soul-touching image, this Jamaican artist manages to convey the emotional depth and plight of the dispossessed and the forgotten. He makes the invisible painfully there in the faces of the viewers.
Roye who is often busy traveling back and forth to his native home Jamaica or documenting his neighborhood discussed the photos taken over the years with his iPhone and the stories behind them. Afterwards he conducted a hands-on camera phone workshop where the audience were paired off in twos and took pictures. A discussion was held afterwards where participants spoke about their likes and dislikes about the pictures they took which allowed them to tell the story behind the photograph.
His original plans was to become a teacher but when he returned home from his first stint in the U.S., he thought that working as a writer and teaching were the jobs for him. “After finding writing for a newspaper somewhat disheartening, I began photographing the stories I would have normally been writing, showcasing instead a visual rendition or version of the same story. These seemed to go further in terms of getting a response in what I would describe as a corrupt society. I stayed with photography because it seemed to garner a more immediate response from society,” said Roye.
He is intuitive and real, honestly and truly cares about the forgotten man. His goal is to change, live and document and to make sure their stories are told.
Asked what we can look forward to in terms of his work, he said, “Someone I once knew said that photography does not change anything. My life as a photographer is spent in the pursuit of proving them wrong. I hope to do one very big project this year looking at the underclass and class. I also want to turn my lens on poverty and how it is being waged in America.”
For more information on Ruddy Roye visit his website at www.ruddyroye.com and follow him on instagram @ ruddyroye.