William Sousa is a final year BA Graphic Design student who merges photography with principles of Graphic Design, seeking to challenge perceptions of marginalised groups and individuals using imagery to rewrite their stories.
‘Boys in Blue’ is a collection of intimate portraits challenging notions of masculinity where the illumination of ‘Blue’ allows for black men to liberate themselves from the ‘cool-posed’ performance, freely embracing their vulnerabilities as they renegotiate their masculine identity. ‘Cool masculinity’ or ‘cool pose’ coined by Dr. Richard Majors, is a performative mask worn by black men to hide their anxieties and weakness as a method of surviving in a restrictive society, successfully executing the role as the “man”.
Each image series has been named in response to the individual’s unique interpretation of what masculinity is, granted with the autonomy to write their narratives and choose how others should perceive them.
This portrait series has been inspired by Barry Jenkins’ ‘Moonlight’ (2016).
‘Running Around, Catching Up All That Light. The Moonlight Is Like Boys With Blue. You Blue. That’s What I Gon Call You. Blue’
– Juan, Moonlight (2016)