The photographic series As a Black Man takes as its sub- ject the American author John Howard Griffin (1920 – 1980) and his 1961 book, Black Like Me. In the book, Griffin details his experiences as a white man who decided to darken his skin, shave his head, and travel for six weeks in the segregated American South in 1959.

The ten photographs in fatmi’s As a Black Man are bookended by “white” Griffin on the left and “black” Griffin on the right, while the eight photographs in between become increasing- ly white or black depending on one’s viewing position. As foreground and background collapse into the same flat and monochromatic surface of the photograph, these hard-to- read images raise questions about when and where race is—and is not—malleable.

In doing so through photogra- phy, As a Black Man broaches the ever-pressing matter of how visual representation, and photography in particu- lar, have long been used to delimit, circulate, and contest constructions of race, political representation, and belonging.