CBIM: Concerned Black Image Makers
Co-founded by Zakkiyyah Najeebah + G' Jordan Williams
Founded in the fall of 2017, CBIM is a collective of concerned lens based artists who wish to exchange ideas and photo methods. We're a growing community of artists who center the diversity of the Black experience via public dialogues, curatorial projects, and collaborative initiatives.
Our Philosophy: We’re rooted in expanding critical thought and dialogue concerning the ethics and practice of Black identified lens based artists. We believe that the stories of black identified communities should be told by folks of the Black Diaspora with integrity and creative ingenuity. We support the work of Black artists who also seek to maintain our stories, our cultural legacies, and uplift of those within the Black Diaspora.
Our Practice: As artists/photographers we share and explore the methods we have utilized to create meaningful work, and offer suggestions as to how we can continue to build a visual archive that conserves Black identities. We facilitate dialogues and collaborative projects amongst black lens based artists whose concerns are specific to Black communities, while also offering critiques, support, and alternative visions of a “Black” aesthetic. In exploring these methods, we seek to conserve the visual identities of work produced by both emerging and accomplished photographers.
We will ALWAYS prioritize critical connections and inquiry between photographic practices and the need for diverse representations of Black communities and photographic stories visualized through a Black lens.
G' Jordan Williams - Cofounder
G' Jordan Williams is a photographer, library scientist, and lover of all things beautiful. Seeing art as language, they're compelled to use mediums to communicate with themselves and others, especially when creating work that is communicative with the Black Diaspora.
Specifically, G'Jordan holds impassioned interest in the intent, conceptualization, and dissemination of the Black image in art; constantly questioning the path and standards of Black images popularized today.
Tonika Lewis Johnson - Collaborator
Tonika Lewis Johnson is a visual artist/photographer from Chicago’s South Side Englewood neighborhood. She was featured in Chicago Magazine as a 2017 Chicagoan of the Year for her photography of Englewood's everyday beauty, countering its pervasive media coverage of poverty and crime. Currently, she is working on a new photographic project illustrating Chicago's residential segregation titled "Folded Map". Through the Folded Map project, she seeks to offer the Chicago community an opportunity to realize the connection between our city’s history of segregation and the resulting systemic inequalities Black communities face in Chicago today.
In collaboration with EXPOSURE, Tonika will be expanding her Folded Map project into a cohesive online presence inclusive of additional programming and curatorial projects.