Ethel Nalule is a 23 year old Ugandan born Photographer. Her passion for photography began in 2005 when a flight attendant handed her a polaroid camera. Growing up the only gift on her Christmas Wishlist was always a camera until 2014 she bought her first camera and won her first photography award “Best Photography 2014” at the young artists gallery in Niagara Falls. Since then she has won the Best photography 2015 award, and has been featured in various magazines and artist platforms such as Girl Gaze and being picked as an editor’s choice for National Geographic’s best of 2017. Most recently they were selected as a recipient for the Charlie Earle Memorial Grant in 2020.
Ethel enjoys storytelling through photography, often leaving photos untiled for others to find their own meaning through them. Her photos can be seen on her Instagram page @ethel, and her website, ethelnalule.com (coming soon).
What influenced you to use art as a form of activism? How do you promote activism through your work?
All art is political, and all art is a form of activism if you look deep enough. I story tell through my photographs, whether that’s by sharing the story or letting the viewers decide what story to take from the photo. Some of the stories in my photos are political and others are personal. I care a lot about equity and have spent the majority of my life fighting for what I believe in. Often times I find myself unable to put what I am thinking into words, and that is when my camera comes in handy. With a tripod and click of a button, I can turn my thoughts into a photograph. Photography is also a form of self-care for me, so for example last year I took some photos to conceptualize my thoughts on colonialism and police brutality, both really heavy topics but by using my art as a form of expression it lessened the feelings burn out. Through my photography, most often the self-portraits I like to portray what I cannot say verbally, and the message comes out stronger than I would have thought. When there is something important that I want to share but don’t feel like writing about it or I feel unable to put it into words, it’s easier to just capture it. I have always loved the conceptual side of photography, but struggle to get my work out there when I focus more on concepts.– Ethel Nalule
To see more of Ethel’s work:
Check out her website (coming soon)! ethelnalule.com
Check out her Instagram! @ethel