Laylah Amatullah Barrayn









Laylah Amatullah Barrayn is an award-winning documentary and portrait photographer working in the medium for 20 years. Through photography, Barrayn engages communities of the global Black diaspora on how identity is expressed collectively and as individuals. She is the co-author of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. It is the first anthology in nearly 30 years that highlights photography produced by women of African descent. She is also a candidate for a Masters of Art at New York University.

Ms. Barrayn is a frequent contributor to The New York Times. Her work has been supported with grants and fellowships from Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African American

Studies, the Research Foundation of the City University of New York, En Foco and The Brooklyn Arts Council.

She has exhibited at Galarie Ethiopiques (Senegal), Brighton Photo Biennial (UK), MANIFESTA European Biennial of Contemporary Art (Italy), Open Ateliers Zuidoost Gallery (Holland), Rencontres d'Arles (France) and The Museum of Contemporary Photography (USA) among other institutions.

Barrayn has given talks about her work at the Tate Modern, Harvard University, The Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture and World Press Photo.

She was included as one of the Royal Photographic Society’s (UK) Hundred Heroines. She is a 2017 African Great Lakes Reporting Fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation. Barrayn was a 2018 finalist for the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize at the Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University and nominated for the International Center of Photography,  Infinity Award for Artist's Book. She has sat on juries for contests from Getty Images, FotoEvidence, The Fence and Three Rivers Arts Festival.


SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2019 Jamm Rek, MAK Gallery, Venice, Italy
2019 Jamm Rek, MAK Gallery, London, England
2019 Baye Fall: Roots in Spirituality, Fashion, and Resistance
The Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA
2019 Baye Fall: Roots in Spirituality, Fashion, and Resistance
The African American Museum of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
2018 Baye Fall: Roots in Spirituality, Fashion, and Resistance
Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA
2017 Her Word as Witness: Women Writers of the African Diaspora
Rosa Parks Museum, Troy University, Troy, Alabama
2017 Baye Fall: Roots in Spirituality, Fashion, and Resistance
Canvas Institute of Art Culture & Civic Engagement, Staten Island, New York
2016 Home and Belonging: Gathering a Diaspora in Brooklyn
Weeksville Heritage Center Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
2015 Baye Fall: Roots in Spirituality, Fashion, and Resistance
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), Brooklyn, New York
2014 You May Sit Beside Me: Visual Narratives of Black Women and Queer Identities
The Skylight Gallery, Center for Arts and Culture, Brooklyn, New York
2012 Her Word as Witness: Women Writers of the African Diaspora
Bloomfield College Art Gallery, Bloomfield, New Jersey
2012 Her Word as Witness: Women Writers of the African Diaspora
Kimmel Galleries, New York University, New York, NY
2011 Her Word as Witness: Women Writers of the African Diaspora
The Skylight Gallery, Center for Arts and Culture, Brooklyn, New York
2009 Kindred Cool: Portraits Inspired by the Jazz Friendship of Romare Bearden,
Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray
The George & Leah McKenna Museum, New Orleans, LA
2008 Kindred Cool: Portraits Inspired by the Jazz Friendship of Romare Bearden, Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), Brooklyn, New York
2006 Black and Tan Fantasy
Calabar Imports, Brooklyn, New York