Laylah Amatullah Barrayn is a documentary photographer based in New York City.
Her work has been supported with grants and fellowships from the International Women’s Media Foundation, Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African American Studies and the Research Foundation of the City University of New York. She is a four-time recipient of the Community Arts Grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council. BRIC Arts selected her as a 2015 Media Arts Fellow where she produced her first experimental short, “Sunu Fall.” The Lucie Foundation included Barrayn on the Shortlist for the 2016 “Photo Taken” Emerging Photographer Prize. She is a 2018 En Foco Photography Fellow.
Her projects have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC, OkayAfrica, Vogue, PDN, CBS, Quartz Africa, among other publications. She has curated exhibitions at the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Port Authority of NY/NJ, galleries and non-traditional spaces; and has given talks on her photography at Yale University, Harvard University, The International Center of Photography, Tate Modern, New York University, Howard University, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Her work has been exhibited internationally and has been published in the Smithsonian-produced anthology, “BLACK: A Celebration of a Culture”, edited by photography historian and professor Dr. Deborah Willis of New York University.
Her latest project on the Baye Fall sufi order of Senegal was exhibited at Galleria Biagiottie in Florence, Italy and at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) New York. She was recently an artist-in-residence at the Waaw Centre for Art and Design in Saint-Louis, Senegal. She is currently a member of Kamoinge, a pioneering collective of African American photographers founded in 1963. Barrayn is the co-author of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora.