The My Body Counts Project is one of the body positive photography projects we have come across on Instagram. We were intrigued by the project because of the focus on its body positive focus on black women. The naked black body in general and naked bodies of black women are historically profaned and fetishized. The most notable example of this is Sara Barton known as the Hottentot Venus. This photography project brings a positive eye to express the bodies of black South African women. We were excited to connect with the South Africa founder of this project for our first photography artists profile and interview.
CFLMAG : What is the My Body Counts Project? When did it start?
MBC – My Body Counts Project is a photography project in which it celebrates different body types across South Africa, the Eastern Cape region specifically. It started in July two year and ago, we’ve just celebrated our two anniversary
CFLMAG: Who is behind the project?
MBC – I, Bonga Ntuli, am the founder, photographer and creative director behind the project. It is also co-founded by Shareez Klaasen and Nathi Lupuwana
CFLMAG: What motivated you to start My Body Counts?
MBC – At the time I was going through a break-up and wondered what I wanted to do with my life. In the past, I’ve worked on several projects in which most have failed and I wanted to do a project that would leave a lasting impression on people. Myself being a lover of all bodies and pro-body positivity, I wanted to do a project that I was passionate about and close to my heart.
CFLMAG : What do you hope to accomplish through the project?
MBC – Myself as a male who also experienced body shaming and self-esteem issues, I wanted to spread that awareness, letting people know that it is okay to be comfortable in your own skin. I’d like to create a commentary in which nothing is taboo, which it is okay to ask questions and creating a safe place for those who could relate. Such a project like MBC is needed in this country and there have been projects like this but I’d like to put this project on a national scale, if not global (trying to think realistically here!) Having to hear from people that this project inspired them really warms my heart and at the same time, it inspires me to do so much better and create more. I want to create content that not only moves women but people as a whole. There will be a few judgmental characters from the other side and I’ve learnt how to deal with that, so with that being said, I’m ready to change the world starting with myself as a person.
CFLMAG: What is next for My Body Counts
MBC -. I’m working on an annual calendar, I plan on shooting a documentary for the project and a coffee table book which is due for release in 2020. In between that, I’m planning my very first exhibition and hopefully, I get to take this project abroad.
CFLMAG : Is there anything else you want to share with the readers?
MBC – Embrace yourself, your inner peace, your soul and your body. It’s important that you feel good naked just as much as you look good naked. Love yourself through and through.
CFLMAG : How can people support the project or find it online?
MBC – You can find my work on the following platforms: @mybodycountssa on Instagram, My Body Counts Photography Project on Facebook and on Tumblr
See a sample of the photos in the My Body Counts project below.