Jul 28, 2019
Live from We Out Here Part 1, a festival of black excellence curated by Michael B. Maine. The Deep End interviewed Inye Wokoma.
Inye Wokoma’s family has lived in the Central District since the 1940s. As a journalist, filmmaker and visual artist, he explores themes of identity, community, history, land, politics and power through the lens of personal and visual narratives. His work is informed by a deep social practice that prioritizes the utility of his art to the collective welfare of his community. Three of his most recent projects, A Central Vision, An Elegant Utility, and This Is Who We Are, represent prismatic exploration of the history, current experience and future of Seattle’s African American Community. In addition to these projects Inye has been working in collaboration with Seattle Public Library and colleague Jill Friedberg to create a catalog of oral histories of Seattleites reflecting on community history and current changes.
Inye completed a degree in journalism and filmmaking from Clark Atlanta University before establishing Ijo Arts Media Group in Seattle. His work as a photojournalist has appeared in USA Today, ColorsNW, Washington Law and Politics, and Chicago Wilderness, among others. In 2004 and 2006 respectively, he received two awards for editorial photography from the Society of Professional Journalists Western Washington Chapter for coverage of the communities of color in the wake of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. His collaboration with journalist Silja Talvi on Washington State’s three strikes law won a 2004 National Council on Crime and Delinquency PASS Award for criminal justice reportage. These journalism awards were earned while shooting for ColorsNW Magazine under the editorial guidance of Naomi Ishisaka. His film ‘Lost & (Puget) Sound, received a 2012 Telly Award and won best film for youth at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival. In 2017 he participated in the visual arts group show ‘Borderlands’ which went on to receive an Americans for the Arts 2018 Public Art Network Year in Review Award for its collective exploration of national identity, immigration, and belonging.
Inye continues to live serve his community from his home in Seattle’s Central District where he currently serves as board president for LANGSTON. He was a founding board member and former board president for Got Green and also served on the board of Nature Consortium.
Introductions by Michael B. Maine and Angie Bryant.