Jalen Amir (they/them)

How does Atlanta influence your photography style?

Being so culturally rich and full of creatives, Atlanta challenges artists to be as bold as can be, bringing their A-game each and every time.

Can you talk about every day Atlanta, the little things, and how they inspire you? The people, the smells, the places, what is about Atlanta that is so magical?

Atlanta is home to a lot of things, and right this moment it’s home to a Renaissance. It’s magic. It’s inspiring. It’s home.

Today more than ever, being southern and from Atlanta especially, a place where so many Black icons are from is very special... Can you speak on that?

Atlanta has always been at the forefront of history, and you can feel how iconic the city is at every corner.

Can you give some words that describe Atlanta, that shows in your work?

Black, bold, and innovative.

Where do you go from here? After Atlanta, where?

Atlanta is global. Make a home here and you’ll be fine anywhere.

Jalen Amir is an interdisciplinary artist, primarily working in a combination of photography and digital painting.

An Afro-pessimist residing in the U.S, Amir’s work explores simulation theory and the African diaspora. To imply simulation, the work features lots of negative space and scenes that almost look like plays, likening the models to actors or toys. The goal is to emphasize how constructed reality is. With this sense of performance and theatre, Amir explores reality and how our ideas of wealth, poverty, work, leisure, danger, safety, and even God are shaped by slavery and an extensive timeline of Black exploitation.

Amir (age 21) hails from Detroit, Michigan but is currently based in Atlanta, Georgia, where they attend Georgia State University.