We are big fans of any creative form that portrays something open and true. You know – when you can tell right away that the person who took the picture, or drew the portrait, or wrote the poem set out to convey an honesty and sincerity. This is the feeling we get when we look at the photos of Mina Shoots.
Amina Adan, known on Instagram as Mina Shoots, is a British Somali photographer from London. Her photos are crisp and striking in appearance, allowing the faces in her pics to shine through in unfussy compositions. Amina’s subjects, put simply, always look pretty great if you ask us.
There’s a method behind all this. Amina uses photography as a way to reclaim the narratives surrounding the Somali diaspora. While parts of the media have conveyed Somali lives in unflattering, narrow terms, Amina’s snaps portray a much wider truth: that Somalis are happy, high achievers; with university degrees, with joy, and equipped with a ton of talent.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Amina explained how social media has allowed her photography to do this: ‘There have been many instances in which Somalis have complained about not having anyone to tell our narrative. But my simple advice is if there’s no one to tell it, you tell it, you reclaim it. Utilise platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to create a space through which we can support one another.’
She added how claiming your own narrative has always been a part of Somali culture: ‘There’s a Somali proverb, “ka muuqo ama ka maaqno”, which means “be seen or be absent”. And that’s what you have to do to claim our stories. Tell it ourselves.’
Take a look at some of Amina’s brilliant shots below:
No one knows how proud I am of this girl. Since the day I met her, I’ve never met anyone who works as hard as her, grafts as hard as her, and as a result I’ve never seen someone shine as hard as her! She did that. Class of 2017. Many more blessings and successes to come, this is just the start 🙌🏾🎓✨❤️ #mdxgrad17 #classof2017
Be sure to head on over to Instagram and smash that follow button on Amina’s profile: @minashoots.