Beneath Our Skin Lies the Sun
A Photograph by Keren Lasme
What is a true picture of black skin? Three women are placed in front of a chiffon backdrop: their heads rise in the manner of small hills, each similar in size to the other. A threefold mood. One face looks ahead, and her gaze, framed by a straightened head, bears the intensity of a dare. But to describe it as “a dare” simplifies what is exchanged when we look at her. Better to compare this glance—and even, the way the other women turn from view—to what happens when an arm is held towards the sun-lit sky. For, perhaps, the truest way to contemplate a hue of skin is to consider the degree to which it displays its luminosity.
Keren Lasme: “We live in a generation that is very visual.”
This photograph was taken in Abidjan.
I started photography through jewellery design. The first camera I bought was to take pictures of beaded bracelets and necklaces I just made. That was 6 years ago. From then on, every time I would travel, I'd document my journeys. That's how I fell in love with image-making.
This photograph is special as it stemmed from a collaborative effort and resulted in something timeless in essence.
I am a multi-disciplinary artist and each medium I choose to express myself in is guided by the message I wish to convey or the subject I wish to explore. So choosing photography for instance would mean it is the best medium of expression for the idea I want to develop.
We live in a generation that is very visual mainly due to the networks we use to share, communicate and connect with the world around us. Hence, photography becomes important in sharing messages that uplift us as humans, to transmit messages of hope, joy and healing.
Two more photographs by Keren Lasme
The first photograph is from “Reverie,” a series of collage-based works, and the second is part of Keren’s collaboration with an Ivorian DJ (Keren is interested “in sound as a spiritual tool and its ability to alter our state of consciousness.”)
Last Week — Ayesha Kazim
In working primarily in the portraiture, editorial, and fine art realms, I feel that my work thrives best when I am able to establish meaningful connections with the people I photograph, and capture an essence of their story and true personality.
Read more: Chrysalis
Support Keren Lasme
Thank you for reading and sharing this feature. Follow Keren on Instagram, and see more work on her website. Her other projects include Kokoba: Meeting Our Griots / Á la Rencontre de nos Griots and iéfo.
Support Tender Photo
This is the 23rd edition of the newsletter. Every week I feature one photograph and the photographer who took it. You’ll read a short caption from me, and a statement from the photographer. My goal is to set up conversations with the work of early to mid-career African photographers. If you know of any photographer whose work is deserving of attention, please email me with their name(s).
What readers are saying:
The worker is often street photography’s unwilling subject. Without the worker, without, in particular, their movement, the city loses the dynamism with which it draws, in the first place, the photographer’s eye. — J. Lean, on “Abeokuta Bridge Workers” by Ifebusola Shotunde