Through my photography, I’ve gotten to work
with people that I know and I’m very close with, and then also people that I’m meeting
for the first time through a project. Building those connections with
people through my craft is very important. My name’s Bashir Abdulkareem. I’m a senior at NYU in Steinhardt studying
Media, Culture, and Communications. My parents both came from Sudan. I have an
older sister, I have three younger siblings. We all still live together, and
we’re pretty like tight-knit. I was born and raised in Brooklyn Heights.
Now we live in Cobble Hill. HEOP has given me a full scholarship to be here
at NYU, thankfully. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. The Higher Education Opportunity Program is a state
and NYU-funded program for low-income students in New York state. My favorite class this semester is “Photo and Words.”
So that one’s meaningful to me because it’s really helping me develop my craft. It allowed me
to start thinking a little different about what I can do with my art
in a meaningful way. GQ stands for the Gentleman of Quality, which is the
largest men of color organization on NYU’s campus. This year, I’m the president, and basically
what it stands for is leadership, service, and scholarship. And through that, we
really just try to be a space where like men of color here at NYU can come
together and exist and like form relationships and bond. I think it is
important to like just slow down sometimes to just get to know somebody. I think being able to unlock stories
from people is really important to me. I think there’s a really cool relationship between myself
as a photographer and people that I work with. Even just like on a genuine connection level, someone
you see and maybe you’ll take the chance and talk to them, and then their story
might really connect with yours, and then add a lot of meaning to your life, and
you might add a lot of meaning to their life. I think in five years, hopefully I would be
in New York, working somewhere in media, still doing photography in one
way or another, like working with communities that I care about—so either
like low-income or like artistic communities or minority communities. And
in ten years, maybe making a job for myself that includes all those things.