In one of his famed self-portraits, Omar Victor Diop, a Senegalese photographer and artist, wears a three-piece suit and an extravagant paisley bow tie, preparing to blow a yellow, plastic whistle. The elaborately staged photograph evokes the memory of Frederick Douglass, the one-time fugitive slave who in the 19th century rose to become a leading abolitionist, activist, writer and orator, as well as the first African American to be nominated for vice president of the United States.
Diop is no stranger to portraying the aches and hopes of Black people across the world. Throughout his oeuvre, which incorporates historical references and costumes, he has highlighted the vital role of Black and African figures in world history, celebrated the dignity of African migrants and refugees, weaved together the history of Black protests from the Selma march to the Soweto uprising in South Africa, and examined the impact of climate change on Africa and the Global South.
Through his bold images, Diop