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ruddyroye

Humanist/Agency VII Photog National Geographic, TIME and New York Times Contributor. Fujifilm X-Photographer. http://www.ruddyroye.com/
4,490 posts
273.98k followers
636 following

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Agency VII Photog
October 6, 2018
stammering song

and it felt like a vitiated percussion.
standing in front of a man
whose shame
trembled on his tongue
like the way
blood spurted from a violent cut.
thick globs of importuned sentences
trailed down his weathered face,
with his broken syllables
hanging onto each rim
like an unfinished score,
a shattered tune
with its dangling notes and broken time signature.
i tried to catch his lyrics,
nodding quickly
to each falling letter as they
spewed in a staccato beat
from dried chapped lips —
a split drum,
peeling away from its lineage.
his hunger rapped on my heart
with the voice of twelve followers,
pointing at his opened palm like the thirteenth plague —
his arrested fists had already
betrayed his manly stature,
and so i covered his hands with respect.
with fists closed as tight as metal bars,
he pushed through his cage
to beg for a train ride —
the opportunity to escape this hell into any dream.
#ruddypoem #whenlivingisaprotest #fujifilmxt3 @fujifilmx_us
43 1,479 2 weeks ago

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Agency VII Photog
September 30, 2018
cold and köln

heading home - sick.
i think it was the colour of the air - smokey blonde. there seemed to be smoking everywhere. i couldn’t avoid it or escape the thick puffs of tobacco blends that swallowed my head like a gulper eel. i also could not stop seeing - the blurring of “german efficiency,” as i walked up and down the side streets.
this morning as i made my way to the train station i smiled when i realized that i was making that same dragging sound with my bag. “anyone can make it to this station, you don’t even have to slip up,” was my thought.
it was the same sound i would hear night after sleepless night reaching up to my sixth floor window like the unavoidable stench of cigarettes.
at the entrance of the train station i was confronted by a ghanaian man telling a german citizen that the “shame” that he feels witnessing a black man laid out on the street is something he carries daily.
my last day was one spent nursing a cold and trying to soak up the last images of köln. truth be told, outside of the incessant pushing through crowds, without the words excuse me, or i am sorry, or the pork, sausages and steaks, i found the people of köln as friendly as my jamaicans.
they were very sweet, smiled a lot, and tried their best to be accommodating towards my lack of the german language. like every where else it takes time to learn the pulse of a place.

#köln #photokina2018 #kölnportraits #fujifilmxt3 @fujifilmx_us #fujifil #fujifilm_global
28 1,649 3 weeks ago

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Agency VII Photog
September 26,2018
engagement

today’s reflections were about me navigating the streets and finding my way to photokina. last night i was up until the wee hours of the morning, kept hearing the familiar grinding sound of a suitcase, surrendering to the precious everything it carried. the worn wiggling wheels spread like a flapping rooster’s proudly lifts the weight of its carriers promise. it is a responsibility you cannot ignore when you finally hear it. it is a rumbling not unlike the beginning of a thunder, amplified by a scraping dragging kind of sound - as if there was an impatience in the hand of the bearer. i woke up tired, but decided that i will look for any kind of engagement, whether between people or thing. whether they were human or animate objects, i wanted to challenge myself by getting close to how the city engaged one with the “other.”
#photokina2018 #kölnportraits #köln #fujifilmxt3 @fujifilmx_us #fujifilm_global
21 1,449 4 weeks ago

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Agency VII Photog
September 25, 2018
reflections

staying invisible is quite visible here in köln. for me it is not that hard to find invisible folks; the smells, the sights and the sounds are all the same, no matter what city or country you go to. the difference here is that the weight and stigma surrounding vagrancy and poverty is not set on the backs of people who look like me - or i should say, i have not seen that side yet. that distinction has been bought and paid for by another group of immigrants.
however my heart is not eased by whoever or whatever slight of hand, or the smoke and mirrors that have removed my image and instead transplant it with another. the silhouette of depravity still clings to these souls and cast a familiar shadow across the piazza as i head out to look inside the city.
the same slouched outlines shuffle quickly in and out of cover as if in anticipation of a lurking predator. the reflections bear a strong resemblance to how intricately ingenious the struggle to survive is, when you are far from home. whether it is through songs, panhandling, vending or drawing, i am moved by their will to use every drawn breath as a means of protest. when living is a protest can be global.
#whenlivingisaprotest #kölnportraits #köln #fujifilmxt3 @fujifilmx_us #fujifilm_global
14 971 4 weeks ago

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Agency VII Photog
September 24, 2018
gather at the rhine

today my friend @davidscottholloway asked his facebook friends how they felt about anthony bourdain’s legacy.
my answer would have been too long but today of all days, while on a train from frankfurt to köln, i was thinking about that very question, even before i saw the facebook post.
i was thinking about how differently my entire mind gets when i am traveling - that mixture of fright, fear, anxiety and excitement. like, am i on the right train, trailing the, what if i get stranded, followed up by the, it might be fun and it always ends with, at least i brought a little pocket knife with me. hey i am jamaican.
good for me, i was on the right train, checked into my hotel, grabbed a camera and started exploring the streets.
the morning light pierced the heavy clouds that rose over the city as if the creator was cutting a slice of the new day bustle. i had found myself at the famous kölner dom, the seat of the archbishop of cologne and a renowned monument of german catholicism and gothic architecture. the white jesus was being etched into the walkway and i stared in his eyes for the truth.
it is also where i heard a song i have not heard for a long time, “gather at the river,” the chilling sound of a wooden flute pierced the chatter of tourists as they roll across the cathedral square peering into the heavens.
i thought, this is the reason why bourdain chose food. it is so much easier to get to the heart of a culture, circumventing language, stares, and the short time one gets to spend in each space. i have yet to decide on either shapes or colours.
thank god there is always the possibility of tomorrow.
#photokina2018 #kölnportraits
#fujifilmxt3 @fujifilmx_us #fujifilm_global
31 1,406 4 weeks ago

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Agency VII Photog
September 10, 2018
the evolution of the black family

kansas city chiefs running backs coach deland mccullough went searching for his biological parents. he found them where he never would have expected.
from the moment i arrived at “aunt debbie’s” home, i felt the energy of the gathering. you could see everyone’s joy and expectation sitting on their whispers as they gathered in the living room and in the kitchen.
the tables, chairs, and tents all gleaming white, had been prepped with the warmth of southern cuisines. the small crowd that had already gathered had eyes that peered through every newcomer’s tinted car glass hoping to get a first hand glimpse of the “prodigal son.” it was a difficult assignment sharing the very cramped space with the video crew so i stepped outside the yard to explore and find a spot to make the portraits.
the feeling of homecoming was inescapable. for me it was not just this moment, but an evolution of presents finally catching up with centuries of fractures. the making of a black family.
my mind was determined to gather, almost like a harvest, the years and circumstances that have placed our families at the brink of extinction.
wars, the middle passage, the auction block, slavery, forced in breeding, rape, treating our ancestors as if they were merchandise and selling them away from their families, all melded together in our dna, replacing recollection of home and family - rewriting what we now call our history.
this one story felt like an unpacking of all that evil and the rebirth of what a black family’s homecoming can look like.
full story is online @espn .com
#onassignment @espn #whenlivingisaprotest #fujifilmgfx50s @fujifilmx_us
72 1,996 last month

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Agency VII Photog
September 7, 2018
looking for my crab.

if a crab does not walk he does not get fat. words my mom use to stitch into the roots of my non existent locs when i was growing up.
now grown, almost to the edge of my back, i am reminded constantly of the value of getting out and exploring ones own backyard.
today i started my release by heading out the door with camera in hand. i didn’t have a topic or a focus per say, but 71 paces from my front door i saw my first image.
she was a neighbour, someone who had suffered from a form of chronic muscle debilitation. she gets around bedstuy very very slowly, almost at the pace of 6-10 steps per minute. as i stood beside her, she told me tales of gems she had found just by walking around the neighborhood. today she found a picture of obama and decided to take it home to preserve it. “at least i know what to do with it,” she said.
i smiled walking away from her, less burdened. what i got from her story was, we as a society need to slow down. and so that is what i decided to focus on today. slowing down my mind, my eyes, my heart, my hands, my fingers, my legs and my feet as i walked down fulton street. i looked for people waiting, caught between the weight of the moment and their stillness. i wanted to see in their eyes the trappings of our everyday hustle, and the way we interact or engage with our surroundings.
i started late, mosijah was already out of school so i had to rush. my last image is a photo of daniel who was parked up in the same space where the notorious “biggie small” use to hang out. “in 1974 when i lived right behind that building, no one would come here, now look at this.” the retired pastor was preaching about the love of jesus his savior - the ultimate fisherman. i was instead setting my p*t for a crustacean.
#whenlivingisaprotest #fujifilmx100f @fujifilmx_us
36 2,032 last month

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Agency VII Photog
September 3, 2018
the curated parade

each and every day that passes by, i feel more like i am becoming my parents. today was no different. aside from the feathers, brilliant costumes, “nutcrackers,” roast corn, j**k fish and chicken, the peanut stands and old people standing off to the side, there was nothing else about the labour day parade that felt familiar.
the “wining” and the amount of nudity seemed too young for me, not to mention the number of police, photographers, and vendors who made up the high percentage of the participants on the parkway.
some of the elders i spoke to blamed the “hot heads” who they described to be the “young ones,” for the violent reputation that the labour day parade has been getting over the past few years. in the words of angela hunte, “party done.”
i watched as a whole float with haitian revelers making its way down the parkway silent. the float was surrounded by over 50 something nypd officers. according to passerby, there was an unpopular member of the haitian political party on the float and there was a threat on his life.
the pause between floats by nypd killed the energy of the event. i was very curious to know what other photographers and photojournalists were capturing because this event was a shadow of past experiences.
when i was a child, kids ran all over the uneven streets in the caribbean, afraid of the “junkunoos”, effigies of rolling calves and whip crackers. stories were told over pit fires as we roasted corns and boiled soups. the energy swirled into the air to light the night sky, while r*m and roast corn with salt fish perfumed the night with its smokey incense. the music poured from shaky sound systems the same way r*m was poured from half empty bottles into our parents surrendering throats. their clothes collected their fermented sweat and seem to cover us like the holy spirit at a revivalist retreat. our ancestors feasted with us as we danced throughout the night.
today i felt nothing.
#fujifilmgfx @fujifilmx_us
113 3,799 last month

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Agency VII Photog
August 27, 2018
single handedly resisting

i think matthew asks me to photograph @afropunk each year because i look for the conscience of the festival amongst all the beautiful people, music and expressions. i look for those people who attended the festival to use it as a platform for social justice. i have no agendas. i point my lens towards a conversation, or a quiet soul standing amongst a sea of dancing revelers. my focus is to the story in my head not the photograph.
this weekend i wanted to hear from the attendees, and what they thought about the theme of afropunk 2018, “resist.”
i met chris at the point where another photographer made a joke about the words she was wearing on her chest.
“this is nothing to joke about,” she snapped back.
@chrismiss_ “i’ve been resisting this idea that mothers specifically black mothers are supposed to be a certain way or have a certain kind of job. as a 30 year old single black mother who identifies as a free -form creative sometimes i feel shamed.
it’s like i “should” be living a certain way. when you’re creative people don’t always take your work seriously. they think it’s “not a real job”. but as i watch my son grow up to be such a sensitive , open minded , emotionally communicative being , i understand that “motherhood” doesn’t have to look like the picture that so many of us have blindly subscribed to.
#whenlivingisaprotest #afropunk #thepeopleresist #fujifilmgfx50s @fujifilmx_us
44 3,033 last month

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Agency VII Photog
August 27, 2018
resist
i think matthew asks me to photograph @afropunk each year because i look for the conscience of the festival amongst all the beautiful people, music and expressions. i look for those people who attended the festival to use it as a platform for social justice. i have no agendas. i point my lens towards a conversation, or a quiet soul standing amongst a sea of dancing revelers. my focus is to the story in my head not the photograph.
this weekend i wanted to hear from the attendees, and what they thought about the theme of afropunk 2018, “resist.”
jean (@jeanthehueman ) walked up to me to introduce himself and to say that he had been following my work for a while. “you inspire me to do the work i do,” he said
“resist for me is to preserve your true self and identity, by any means necessary. i wore this shirt to honor colin kaepernick and all other freedom fighters who challenge white supremacy and oppression.”
#whenlivingisaprotest #afropunk #fujifilmgfx50s #thepeopleresist @fujifilmx_us
22 1,864 last month

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Agency VII Photog
August 26, 2018
intersectionality.
the people resist were the words i focused on as i shuffled through the tight cleavages, sparsely clad crevices, the heavily ornamented holes and colourful spread of afro spaciousness. imagine trying to get from the red stage to the main stage, crisscrossing over three to four chain linked lines of people waiting for food. i slipped through fishnets, running to each zone as they professed their own amplitude of freedom, sovereignty, self determination in exuberant song and dance. this was a holy place.
my intent was to photograph beautiful black folks enjoying a two day festival in the land of brooklyn. my aim was to talk about “resist” from the voices of the people that attended the festival.
however, after seeing the comments of some of my images that were uploaded on the @afropunk site, i decided that i had to say this little thing.
i am happy that a festival like afropunk exist, where men and women who challenge gender roles, who look beautifully different from me can attend safely.
my existence in all its forms does not diminish how another man seeks to live his life as a male/person/they/ (insert pronoun), and neither does their life and the way they chooses to live (insert pronoun) threatens mine.
i am still molting. with a foreign sun beating on my back, i watch as people squabble and rip peoples rights from their birth certificates while marching around washington square park chanting for congress to uphold their card board rights. rights are rights across all boards. you fight for one, you fight for all rights, or that is how it is suppose to work i think. so when a one perceives a space too glittery, too feminine and proposes to bash that sphere with lewd and offensive narrative, in that same breath, the creator sends a comforter to open an area much like afro punk where people can exercise with love what it means to be human.
@hippypotter @basitshittu @iamjarijones @mindofmendoza @soho_vann
#whenlivingisaprotest #thepeopleresist #fujifilmgfx50s @fujifilmx_us #afropunk
153 3,854 last month

@ruddyroye

Humanist/Agency VII Photog
August 19, 2018
coming in from the cold

he was one of the original members of the jamaica bob sled team.
watching mark mount his images yesterday on #worldphotographyday my mind dribbled back to the day i met him. we had just finished playing a football game with violet kickers where we won 2 to 1 and “spoon,” as we called him, scored the winning goal.
we were all given boxed food as we walked from jarrett park to downtown montego bay, and all along the route, different players would throw their empty containers on the street, on an abandoned garbage heaps, or in little corners,all except the one player most of the other members thought was strange, unapproachable, and aloof.
mark waited until he passed by a garbage container before disposing of his empty box.
he always stood on the edge of how society wanted to define him — painting became his medicine.
standing in front of the "seated nude" to the left..and the "nubian sitting" ( purity of the feminine gender) spoon said,
“all my life i've been surrounded by women. their stories about life, how they had to live it and experience it, offers the ultimate inspiration an artist can encapsulate themselves in. to painting fills my lungs with oxygen everyday.”
mark started painting again after a close friend convinced him that he had to respond to this calling
“i have embraced this journey and not the destination; this journey is like time.. it has me marching on and on..i cannot stop for water, i cannot break for intermissions,” he said yesterday.
mark’s painting is a part of a group show titled “figuratively speaking” which will be hosted at the one art space gallery in tribeca starting tomorrow.
#fujifilmgfx @fujifilmx_us @marknegusart
27 1,450 last month