This short film by London based photographer and filmmaker, Seye Isikalu, deftly depicts the beauty of black male affection.
Seye stylistically celebrates the intimacy, love and brotherhood that is too often misinterpreted as something other than what it is, whilst at the same time challenging the negative assumptions that such interactions between black males can assume.
Monochrome encourages black men to consider and reshape our perception of what intimacy between us means, and gives our onlookers a glimpse into something other than what they’ve become accustomed to through decades of misrepresentation.
The film ends with a powerfully poignant narrative:
“Grey is the wonderland we’ve learned not to trek to, because displays of black male affection are strategically met with seeds of suspicion that sprout this myth that if black men are touching it means we’re either fighting or fucking. For us there is no grey. But this too, is distortion … Our emancipation remains, in the grey we’re denied. The grey they tried to hide because its such a fright for white, for us to love and unite…”
This distortion must end. And we, as black males, must learn to love one another and embrace the grey we’ve long been denied.