Delphine Diallo’s ‘Women of New York’ – empowering women

Delphine Diallo, currently based in Brooklyn, New York, is a French Senegalese photographer and visual artist. Completing her studies at the Académie Charpentier School of Visual Art in Paris she worked in the music industry as a graphic designer, special effect motion artist and video editor before moving to New York to explore her own practice.

Combining her artistry with activism Delphine momentums various possibilities for the empowerment of women, cultural minorities and youth forward. The mediums in which she practices include both analogue and digital photography, illustration and collage, virtual reality and 3D printing.

Her arresting imagery acts to challenge societal norms and champion women with mythological, anthropological, sexuality, identity and race explorations.

Delphine’s project Women of New York makes use of classic portraiture to create visibility. For this project, she photographed women and girls of New York which was compiled into a book format and featured 111 females (a symbol of oneness).

For this project, the artist used the method of blind casting via Instagram posts and having her assistant handle the model calls in order to rule out discrimination and limiting women and girls who want to participate from forming a part of the project.

“I feel like if I select women, then I’m discriminating against other women who want to participate. I’m not going to do that. So, my assistant handles the model calls I post on Instagram, and 30 women might reply, and because they’ve expressed interest, they are part of this project.

I want to give each woman who has felt defeated, unprotected, ignored or degraded, a new light to shine on her brilliance and beauty. And, for the women who have always felt empowered, despite society dismissing her in the workplace, educational institutions, media outlets, and even in her home, I want Women of New York to illuminate her strength in ways she may never have imagined.” she expressed in an interview with 99u.

Delphine’s images are strong and show these women and girls in a confident, powerful light. Her project has created visibility and a face that speaks to what it means to be a female in New York today. Her work holds power in that it celebrates beauty and is a clear indication that womanhood cannot be seen as an embodiment of one way of being.

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