Photography student Malik J. Norman is one of 30 recipients of the FUJIFILM “Students of Storytelling” contest, a national contest for college students to win up to $3,000 worth of FUJIFILM gear to complete a project. With the new equipment, Malik will complete his senior thesis project, Visual Waters of Mineral Springs.
Visual Waters of Mineral Springs will create a photographic archive for the rural Black community on Western Union School Road in Mineral Springs, N.C., the small town in Union County where Malik grew up. The project “investigates the ethnography of community to reveal personal and universal truths,” he wrote in his contest submission.
“This land was cultivated by calloused palms, by a people whose hymns were solace for woe. They built and endured instead of participating in the Great Migration from the South. That trunk of my identity encourages me to use my passion to connect with my roots and branch them towards showcasing that resilience.”
Malik will graduate next spring with a B.F.A. in Art with a photography concentration. He is a member of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship, a national organization, and holds leadership positions in the UNC Charlotte student organizations United Creative Vision, Bridge: Connecting the Arts, and Art of Light Photo Club. Inspired by the renowned photographer Gordon Parks, he hopes his work will contribute to positive social change.
“My artwork is about visual storytelling driven to be a catalyst for socioeconomic reform for Black bodies and communities.”
You can follow his Visual Waters of Mineral Springs project on Instagram, @malikjnorman, through his FUJIFILM profile, and a personal hashtag created by FUJIFILM, #MalikJNormansFujifilmLegacy.
Pictured above right: Mr. Richard A. Coffey's Tractor (Granddady's Ole John Deere) from the Visual Waters of Mineral Springs series.