For London-based photographer Bolade Banjo, documenting a narrative has always been at the heart of his work. His latest offering, They think Brighter than you Shine, is a series of stories based on the city of Detroit. The book looks at the perseverance of the area’s inhabitants and how it becomes a backbone for various personalities within the city. Featuring stills from the photographer’s time with the Western International High School baseball team, the publication documents the community they’ve built to overcome the hardship the city throws at them.
The book also includes extracts from interviews with house musician John FM and Jazz artist Nolan Young, as they talk about the theme of perseverance and how the city has inspired their craft. “Detroit acts as a motivating driving force for those in its music scene. Speaking with musicians like Jay Daniels, Joey2Lanes, John FM and Nolan Young gave me an insight into how the city cultivates and motivates young musicians to create bodies of work that are reflective of the city’s influence on their state of mind. How perseverance can be channelled into creativity and excelling in an individual’s pursuit of happiness.”
“What drew me to shoot these young men was the pride and self-possession I saw in them. For me, they symbolized the idea of perseverance. Young men from a variety of backgrounds, coming together in some sort of brotherhood to work together for advancement despite the odds against them. For me, this is not just exclusive to these young men but I see parallels with how musicians from the city are also molded by the idea of perseverance.”
‘They think Brighter than you Shine’ by Bolade Banjo is out now and available to purchase via Gully-Type.