i was honored last summer when my friend Cheikh asked me to photograph him for his forthcoming self-titled EP, M|GHTHAUNT. when he described a vision of emerging from darkness with an orange cloth in dedication to Oya, I was excited to show him the darkest place I know to take photos in philly: an underground tunnel so dark cell phone flashlights can't even reach the floor. our location underground matches the deathly and spiritual feeling of the EP and created the right environment for Cheikh to really channel this feeling in his movement. i loved watching Cheikh disrobe and dance for the ancestors, left feeling humbled and inspired. i love working with truly unique and powerful individuals who show vulnerability and honesty in their relationship with their bodies, and people who have integrity and generosity in working with others.
from Cheikh: "i engaged in collaboration with @snaxho_ to craft imagery that grounds the sonic world of M|GHTHAUNT, my ego’s first, self-titled EP. at the core of this collaboration, i am doing my best to situate my flesh and the ego that is M|GHTHAUNT as sites of veneration for my mothers: TaMara Laverne Woods and Oya. i seek, through captured movement, meditative grace, and thoughtful intention, to create a photo set that exists as both a dedication and an articulation of what my queer dark black body gives disrobed, dressed down to the bone, alone. in some ways, i imagine my soul to look this way: creeping through and out the dark, it’s own light and reason for being. a shaking. these photos seek to capture the grace i often fail, and the power that i know i have yet often fail to really put out into the world. whether it be through the designs of fear, or failure, or shame, i am learning more and more why Sista Lorde’s words “Your silence will not protect you” resonate with me so thoroughly. i am in the process of dying, and becoming anew. M|GHTHAUNT as a project has helped me understand this — in a deeper sense, what self-determination and actualizing the realities we see inside of us look like. i produced, recorded, mixed, mastered, and designed the concepts for this EP by my dark black lonesome. this has been critical work for me, as i’ve never released any project alone that has not touched other hands first. meaning a nigga ain’t ever mastered shit. i honestly been learning as i been goin. i’m excited to start opning up — through this imagery and through the sound — into the world of M|GHTHAUNT. until then, please enjoy these photos. please get your life. and if neither of these are your responses, that’s okay too. i made this for my mothers. and i made this for me. and i really made this for us. thank you Eva for helping me capture, at least in part, what the nakedness of my spirit gives below ground, where i truly come from."