A Subconscious Portrayal of the African Diaspora

In a series that mixes scenes of reminiscence and fantasy captured throughout moments of his daily life, Afro-French photographer Henry Roy paints an animistic and lyrical picture of his own relationship to his own environment.

In a series that mixes scenes of reminiscence and fantasy captured throughout moments of his daily life, Afro-French photographer Henry Roy paints an animistic and lyrical picture of his own relationship to his own environment.

I would define my work like a dreamy poetic journal, a sensorial and mental biography, as well as a complex, holistic view of the contemporary world. Through various projects, I'm trying to unravel the mystery of appearances, to bring out the invisible. This project represents a vision of Africa described by a man from the African diaspora who has never been there.

Teju Cole for the New York Times, on Superstition, my last book, published in 2017: He is deeply sensitive to dreamscapes and to the borders between this world and the next, qualities that he credits to his Haitian background and his knowledge of Vodou. This book, full of people sleeping and shadowy trees, is like a collection of poems in a once known but now forgotten language. Stylistically speaking, his work sits somewhere between Saul Leiter and Viviane Sassen, but it is its own thing. I wanted it to be twice as long, but no, it is more mesmerizing at this wispy length.

Words and Pictures by Henry Roy.

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Henry Roy is an Afro-French photographer and writer, born in Haïti and living in Paris. He uses intuition to trace his quest for identity in our world. His vision is the result of a mixture of reminiscence, fantasy and sensation captured throughout his daily life, in an animistic relationship with his environment. Find him on PHmuseum and Instagram.

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This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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