I stumbled upon Aliyah’s instagram account. She instantly stood out to me because of her unique looks, her creative energy and her transparent social media persona in which she often speaks her mind about race, diversifying the industry and gentrification, amongst other things. You rarely find this kind of outspokenness where most models have their hands tied to maintain their agency’s socially acceptable reputation - not to have too much of a public opinion. If you do, to stay within the narrative of the mainstream media.
This portrait of Aliyah, shot in the parking lot of Orchard Beach, Bronx, was inspired by a particular incident that she posted about, where Uber service denied her and her group of black girlfriends. It's the kind of racial confrontation that seeps into the American daily life, the kind that doesn't make news headlines but constantly awaits for you in every corner.
Photo by Nigel Hosang @antioch_studio