Zakkiyyah Najeebah (b. 1991) is a Chicago based photographic artist , educator, and documentarian. She studied Art History and Black Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which heavily informs her multidisciplinary practice. The aesthetic components and intersectional cultural advancements that are entirely unique to the black experience is a primary concern of hers.
Zakkiyyah uses photographic imagery to address the politics and aesthetic values of representation, inclusivity, black womanhood, family histories, and collective narratives. Often her work takes place in the realm of portraiture, documentation, image-making, and educating. Although working primarily in photography, she has recently expanded into video and mixed media to complicate her concerns. She is currently building a catalog that articulates current and past social concerns regarding black narratives and is exploring new methods of visual presentation.
Zakkiyyah is also a Co-founder of EXPOSURE: a photographically centered project that prioritizes Black experiences and concerns visualized by photographic artists.
University of Illinois at Chicago.
B.A. Program, Art History & Criticism, African American Studies.
2017 WILD Family, Border Patrol Gallery.
2017 Ritual, 2nd Floor Rear Exhibition Space.
2017 Old Black Magic, Chicago Art Department.
2016 Yelling at the Sky, Chicago Artists Coalition x Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation.
2016 Our Duty to Fight, Gallery 400 (University of Illinois at Chicago).
2015 Aesthetics of Wellness, Woman Made Gallery.
2015 Independent Study, APLOMB Gallery.
2017 Five Works: Zakkiyyah Najeebah. Mana Contemporary Chicago. June - Aug.
2017 Oh, Mother Mother Me. Performative reading. Compound Yellow.
Awards + Residencies
2017-18 50x50: Neighborhood Arts Project - DCASE. City of Chicago
2017 SPACE Gallery - Artist in Residence. Portland ME.
2016-17 Propeller Fund Grant Recipient - My Familiar .
Press + Statements
2018 Tonika Lewis Johnson: Everyday Englewood, Exhibition statement by Zakkiyyah Najeebah. Loyola Museum of Art.
Collaborations + Partnerships + Commissions
2018 Chicago Park District
2017 Chicago Reader
2016 Queer, Ill & Okay: Art AIDS America + Alphawood Foundation
2016 T.R.A.C.E (Teens Re-imagining Art, Community, and Environment).
2016 The Photographic Journal
2016 Afterschool Matters
2015-16 Open Tv
Talks + Panels
2018 Common Use: The Booty Monologues. MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art). Guest Artist. Chicago.
2018 An Unfurling: People in This Town. The Art Institute of Chicago x Harold Washington Library. Guest Artist. Chicago.
2018 In Progress: Black Photo Futures. MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art). Moderator + Facilitator. Chicago
2017 Exposure: Concerned Black Photographers. AMFM Gallery. Facilitator. Chicago.
2017 Artist Talk + Screening with Zakkiyyah Najeebah: SPACE Gallery. Portland, ME.
2017 The Black Photographic Image: Future Perspectives. Moderator.AMC Detroit.
2017 Mindfulness in Critical Art Practices. Lake FX Summit Chicago. Moderator.
2016 Guest Teaching Artist: One Summer Chicago.
2016 Radical Self Care + Creative Resistance Workshop. RiotCon Conference. Chicago
2016 Our Duty to Fight, Artists Talk. Gallery 400 (University of Illinois at Chicago).
2015 Visioning Community Workshop. Dorchester Art Projects, Rebuild Foundation. Chicago.
2015 SEEDS Project: Community Arts Engagement. Mana Contemporary Chicago x Fultonia Now.
2014 Ferguson and Addressing Violence Against Black Bodies. University of Illinois at Chicago. Panelist.
2018- T.R.A.C.E. (Teens Re-imagining Art, Community, and Environment). Lead Co- Teaching Artist.
2016- Present Teaching Artist Guide - MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art)
2018- Advisory Board Member - The Black Archival Library Project.