Delphine Adama Fawundu

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Co-Founder & Editor-In-Chief of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora, Delphine Fawundu has been working in the arts for over two decades. This Brooklyn native and multi-hyphenate loves watching her ideas come to life visually, and comes from a creative household. “My mother used to sew our clothing, and mostly prepared meals from scratch, I watched my older sister literally create her own style,” she says. “I loved her uniqueness and she inspired me to be comfortable embracing my uniqueness. My brother's love for music inspired me to discover my musical taste.”

Education also plays a major part in her life, having earned her BA from Stony Brook University, MA from New York University, and MFA from Columbia University. Her mentors, Dr. Deborah Willis and Dr. Kelly Jones, are scholars of world history and the African Diaspora. “Regardless of where you are on this earth, how you are educated plays a big role in the way that you view and participate in the world. I think that we take the word education for granted, it can mean many things.” Subsequently, she has always had the freedom to explore where her mind took her. “I never felt like I had to fit into a box, or be who my parents wanted me to be. I always had a strong mind towards my interests, and my family encouraged me.”

The ability to spread her wings at a young age is likely the reason she soars through the art world today. In 2017 she met one of her biggest goals to date—publishing her first book, MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. Fawundu plans for the project to become an institution that produces a yearly journal, grants for emerging artists and a multitude of professional development opportunities. Through this work, she is doing her own form of community building among African women, something she views as essential. “We are always stronger as a community.”

ArtsTeneille Craig