Let out your emotions about 2016 for this Detroiters’ photography project

or the 590,694,493rd time: 2016 was kind of shitty. But Detroit -area photographer Moriah Johnson is looking to turn the experiences from that year into something beautiful.

Johnson photographs various subjects to show what it means to be black through her project Things Black Bodies Do. She says the idea was the result of being frustrated by the singular image of black people portrayed in the media.  

As part of Things Black Bodies Do, Johnson is embarking on a one-day project called The Grimace Scale, where she will ask each subject a question about an event that took place in 2016, and they will only be allowed to respond using a facial expression.

“We’re getting together and expressing some of the collective feelings that the events of 2016 brought up. There was a lot of criticism around how and why black people felt the way they did about events in 2016,” Johnson says. “I thought it would be good to capture a lot of these emotion with my camera.”

“I just wanted to celebrate and expand the narrative of what blackness looks like while providing a safe space for black expression,” Johnson adds.


If you’ve got some emotions from last year you’ve been meaning to let out, Johnson will be photographing people for her Grimace Scale project 4:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 24 at Ponyride.

For more information, check out the Facebook event or sign up at thingsblackbodiesdo.com.

Facebook Comments



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here