Onyinye Ubah

I had always desired a kind of photography that transcends the era of just clicks and lights. My exploration into the photography involves a conglomeration of my body and soul, arts, uniqueness and choreography. The outcome is not only an image but a deep story for the entire world. Thus, this imaginary conversation with the universe:

Universe: Excuse me, Benji Reid, Can you dance?

Benji Reid: Oh Yes! I am a pro

Universe: Are you into theatre arts?

Benji Reid: Yes, I am. Award-winning!

Universe: Can you do Photography?

Benji Reid: Yes I can!  Badass!

Universe: Go on with your super powers, then!


Choreo-photolist is a word I coined which is an interception of choreography, theatre and photography. It is a kind of photography where I use my body as a story telling tool in conveying messages. These messages may sometimes be obvious and at other times, enshrined in between postures and colours in a photo. I consider it boring if a picture does not carry a tornado of message that can cause a social change such as the police brutality that took place in America.

After spending more than two decades in the theatre, I decided to explore the field of photography which offers me the kind of freedom that the theatre was able to offer my soul. Before now, I have always loved the sound and clicks of camera. When I decided to take it to a professional level, I needed to spice it up with the theatre and choreography. Surprisingly, when people found out I had taken up the camera professionally, they were happier than I was and encouraged me to explore it.

Whenever I want to conceptualise my photo, there must be a strong fusion of my sense of spirituality,authenticity, freedom and the black culture.  When I mean the black culture, I mean it in every sense of it.

The climax of my work is when people see beyond the rocket man, wall climber, the man with an indigo blue cocktail and fire, the flying man defying the law of gravity and cloud maker. Any image I showcase has underlying variant social messages to different people at different point in time.

My work has been exhibited in couple of international arts exhibitions in Manchester in 2016 and in New York in 2019. I hope to spread more message of hyper realism and change the narrations and conversations in other parts of the world as a choreo-photolist. Currently, I run the internationally recognised October Gallery in Central London.

In the words of Robert Golden:

‘Benji Reid has emerged from years of dance and theatre practice to suddenly create an on-going series of astoundingly original, graphically pleasing and photographically excellent images. They come from an intelligent, driven and sensitive man with a deep understanding of theatricality. Beneath their immensely entertaining surface of quirky colours, teasingly accomplished yet simple lighting and playful props is a profound truthfulness.’

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