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093: Photographer Bukky Ade on Life with Sickle Cell

Uninvisible Pod

093: Photographer Bukky Ade on Life with Sickle Cell

Bukky Adeyokunnu is a self-taught portrait photographer and filmmaker. Born in Lagos, Nigeria and bred in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Bukky tells visual stories of women, health, and the immigrant…
September 23, 2020

093: Photographer Bukky Ade on Life with Sickle Cell

Bukky Adeyokunnu is a self-taught portrait photographer and filmmaker. Born in Lagos, Nigeria and bred in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Bukky tells visual stories of women, health, and the immigrant experience. She began her journey in 2015 and has since become a Dean’s Collection artist, been featured in xoNecole for The Warrior Series, a photo series which captures how three strong women triumph over sickle cell disease, and local exhibitions including Washington D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser Presents 202Creates – LOVE series. Bukky is based now based in Northeast Washington, D.C. and is available for commissions and collaborations. As you will discover, she’s not alone in her sickle cell journey, either…her older brother, Ade, also lives with the diagnosis.

Tune in as Bukky shares:

  • that her older brother, Ade (next week’s guest!) also has sickle cell
  • her biggest crisis triggers: chief among them, stress
  • that the transition from pediatric to adult care was a shock to her system
  • her experiences of medical trauma and racism
  • the push-pull between her ambitions and her body’s needs
  • the struggle to have her pain taken seriously in a medical setting
  • that she recently changed care to a Black female doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and was incredibly touched by the experience — because her doctor implicitly understood her
  • about using her photography as a form of advocacy, in “The Warrior Series” — where she photographs sickle cell warriors looking strong, in order to shift prevailing narratives
  • the history of racism at Johns Hopkins — including, most infamously, their treatment of Henrietta Lacks
  • how she practices self-care
  • that the patient advocacy space is very white-dominated

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