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by Farida Dawkins, at 05:39 am, February 22, 2018, Art Attack

[Art Attack] Multi-faceted photographer, writer, and illustrator Fatmata Kamara

Girl sitting in the lap of a veiled woman...photo credit: Fatmata Kamara

20-year-old Fatmata Kamara is a Sierra Leonean artist currently residing in Australia. This triple threat began taking her craft seriously when she moved down under. The creative – as she likes to be called can’t pinpoint an exact time she began creating, it was a gradual realization.  She decided to commit to what came naturally to her – crafting.

“My soul and mind completely detached from my body and in the absence of love, hate grew within me. The world owes me everything. I deserved better. I became a different person after that night. Every single little ray of light that shone through me stopped shining. As I look around me the world is crumbling; I gave up. I give up. I give up. Now I’m always on my phone because I’m afraid to be alone. Turning up the music so maybe voices inside my head will give up trying to be heard; but ironically only way to get someone to stop talking is to let them speak. And for the first time ever in my life; I’ve never been so afraid to be by myself.” My 12AM in Freetown . . . . . #photography #vsco #vscogood #vscocam #photojournalism #africa #africans #model #sierraleone #picoftheday #travel #instatravel #style #black #africankids #art #young #children #fashion #children #africanphotographer #everydayafrica #everydaysierraleone #writer #poetry

A post shared by Fatmata Kamara (@fdotadot) on

Face2Face Africa chatted with the young starlet who has no qualms about admitting her talent. She says: “A lot of people are hesitant when it comes to admitting they’re good at what they do because they don’t want to be seen as “cocky”; but there’s nothing wrong in admitting you’re good at your craft. I’m good at the things I do and I’m only going to get better.”

“I no longer write to show the oppressor why they shouldn’t oppress or to prove that I’m deserving of a little humanity. That’s like trying tell somebody that’s comfortable that they shouldn’t be comfortable because it hurts you. I write to heal now. I write to share, I write to love, I write to teach, I write to learn, I write to unlearn. I write because black people deserve it. Deserve to be loved in a way that the world has denied them of. I write because after everything is said and done, when the dust settles and if the world were to ever crumble; I fear that black children will hurt the most. Every black child deserves better. I deserved better. I take the time to heal and love myself and other black people so if I ever have children I can give them the love I never had. The love that I thought was never meant for me because those around me were hurting and they themselves never knew what that love was. Something I’m learning to not be resentful about anymore. I don’t think we realize how traumatized and hurting most of us are within the global Black community. I think black people are taught from birth to hate themselves. So loving each other is quite the task; and loving yourself is even harder when you don’t know how. So I write. If only one person in my whole lifetime reads my work and it resonates enough for them to seek out that love; then I’d have lived a very fulfilling life. If we’re not going to heal ourselves and each other for anything else, let’s do it for our children.”

A post shared by Fatmata Kamara (@fdotadot) on

Kamara had a bit of a deterrent as an adolescent as she didn’t have to resources needed to hone her art however, she persevered and used her surroundings as muses.  Kamara explains: “I didn’t start making art until I moved to Australia when the resources became available. It was something people told me I was good at, and I really enjoyed doing. It was almost like a form of escapism to me.”

Presently, Kamara is passionate about the process more so than accolades, she comments: “I honestly don’t like calling myself an artist, I like the term creative better because I only tend to do illustrations every now and then. Artist just sounds restrictive to me; but I never decided to become an artist/creative, I just always was.” When asked if she’d entered any contests or won any awards for her work, she commented “No I haven’t. I haven’t really gone out of my way to try to win any. On top of that, I feel like I haven’t reached my full potential yet, as well as I don’t really see awards as a necessity. That’s not to say I would turn one down!”

Kamara sees the development of herself as the basis for being a great artist.  When asked what she hopes to manifest in the future; when pondering about where she’ll be in five years, she professes: “A better, constantly improving version of myself, hopefully making money out of doing what I love so I can help the people that I love.”

(A.Y.K and Dj White boy (no joke, thats actually his nickname) at the welcome home party my mum put together for us.) After the party, the Afrobeats and Salone (short for Sierra Leone) music turned off and to my surprise the country music came on. White boy sat down next to me nodding his head, singing along and said: “out of all the genres of music, American country music is my favourite. I don’t even like all that stuff I was just playing. It’s because that’s what people like to listen to at parties; but country music is my favourite. I love the lyrics. When you listen to country music all your stress, all your worries just disappear. Listen to country music and 5 minutes in you forget what you were even stressing about.” (Translated from Krio) For for a few minutes that night, and first time in my life, I’ve never appreciated country music so much.

A post shared by Fatmata Kamara (@fdotadot) on

Kamara elaborates: “Seeing Black people struggling pushes me to keep going, to do more. My parents have suffered for us to be where we are now; and they’re still going, just to make life a little bit easier for us. So every time I think about that I’m inspired, just watching Black people living inspires me. The way we do things; the way we talk, the way we sing, the way we walk, the way we laugh, the way we dress ourselves. Everything about us is art. From Africa to the U.S, to the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia; doesn’t matter where we are we always make the best of what we have and that inspires me.”

Stay in touch with Kamara on Instagram at fdotadot.

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