Photo by Dayo Kosoko
Photo by Dayo Kosoko

Dayo Kosoko is the creator of “Moon Melanin,” a photo series that explores the relationship between darker-skinned people under the moonlight and how it illuminates their skin.

L’Ombre (Shadow)
Your shadow is always there even if you don’t see it in broad daylight.
Melanin for me is DARK. Not dark as in evil but dark as in powerful. You don’t see the dark side of the moon but you know it is there.
People have tried to silence us for too long. They know that out of the dark comes the brightest light. All we need are the right tools. (Silhouette and words: @ducdubois/Photo by Dayo Kosoko)

Dayo captures a raw truth often reserved for intimate spaces by using skin as a medium of authenticity. Inspired by the community, “Moon Melanin” seeks to accentuate the idyllic reflection of Black people through imagery.

While sitting down with The Bridge, Dayo shared that, “the whole photo shoot process is just about getting people in their comfort zone. I’m trying to communicate an intimate story recounted through the skin. The moon as a reflection of the sun is an extension of our being. The phases of the moon dictate time and tides, while the 28-day moon cycle provides a guide to bring forth new life.” Dayo strives to capture these essential intricacies.

The sun illuminates a richness on melanin that the moon enhances. When something is eternal, it is forever. Melanin is persistent and has stood the test of time.
Yes, we are radiant. (Silhouette and words: @jpulchritude/Photo by Dayo Kosoko)

Through “Moon Melanin,” Dayo rejects mainstream, two-dimensional stories of Black people. Instead, he captures the complexity and depth of Black stories by snatching them at face value, in all their glory.

“Black people have a great affinity to the moon. Sunlight can be harsh and overexposed, while the reflective nature of moonlight is more aesthetically pleasing on darker skin tones. The sun doesn’t have any hidden parts, but only one side of the moon is visible from earth,” Dayo said. “Likewise, Black people are often unseen.”

There’s something poetic about the idea that melanin captures light. It’s like photosynthesis — I believe the melanocytes work like how plants process light. And light is power. There it is. (Silhouette and words: @curryhackett/Photo by Dayo Kosoko)

While white skin dulls in dark spaces, melanin glistens. So, stop. Look up. Close your eyes. Imagine yourself basking in the moonlight. Now take a step back, remove yourself, and bask in your beauty. “Moon Melanin” photo series, is an extension of that intimate experience.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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