What images do you think of when you see Black boys? In this thought-provoking conversation, photographer, poet and mental health researcher, Kay Adekunle Rufai, deep dives into his work on restoring the humanity of Black boys. By radically rethinking the images of Black boys we usually see, Kay believes it’s possible to dismantle harmful stereotypes of Black boys that stem from racism and toxic masculinities. And perhaps even more importantly, by working closely with Black boys and building trust, Kay’s work helps Black boys rethink how they see themselves and ways they can show up in the world. Kay’s photography shows Black boys in joyous, safe and colourful contexts that celebrate their true, individual identities.

Kay is interviewed by Ben Hurst, co-host of Climate Curious podcast, former TEDxLondonWomen speaker, model and Head of Facilitation at Beyond Equality. Kay is a British born Nigerian photographer, poet, filmmaker, author, mental health researcher and founder of the internationally acclaimed S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys projects. He is currently the first artist in residence for West Midlands Police, as part of Coventry City of Culture. His award-winning work explores themes of masculinity, mental health, identity and serious youth violence and has been widely exhibited at The Barbican, City Hall, Tower Bridge, the Royal Court and more, as well as featured on the Guardian, Channel 5 news, BBC 1XTRA and more. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

Adekunle Rufai

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