JUMP BALL: THE AFRICAN DIASPORA STORY
We noticed a cultural disconnect within the African diaspora relating to basketball. There was a lack of stories regarding athletes growing up as cultural hybrids (first-generation Africans), and we needed to create a perspective that offered more insight about their upbringings.
WHAT WE DID?
We developed a concept named Jump Ball that allowed us to collaborate with creatives, athletes, and storytellers, to document the cultural blends between basketball and African traditions. We gathered research and scouted teams of athletes starting in Toronto. The visual story in Toronto highlighted various African nations with large a presence in the city such as Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Congo. The project featured clothing that represented their native land and/or religions, with a westernized twist. (See below)
Photography: O’shane Howard / Creative Direction: Josef Adamu / Graphic Design by EZM.
Following the Toronto story, we travelled to New York to expand the series in Little Senegal also known as Harlem. The story involved basketball players from 6 different nations as we aimed to learn more about their cultural upbringings, their love for the game, while expanding on our story. The nations presented were Gambia, Ivory Coast, Mali, South Sudan, Guinea, and Senegal.
Photography: Joshua Kissi / Videography: Emmanuel Afolabi / Creative Direction: Josef Adamu / Production: Josef, Malik Sulieman, Andrew Somuah / Graphic Design by EZM.
The project has been a success thus far. Many people from various nations feel proudly represented, more informed about other cultures, more educated on the influence of basketball, and captivated by personal upbringings. The reception via social media has been remarkable, with features in Vogue Italia, CNN Africa, etc. Stay tuned, as we plan to expand this story in to different communities.
Jump Ball: New York (Cultural Activation)
Photos by Joshua Kissi
Jump Ball: Toronto (Cultural Activation)
Photos by O’shane Howard