Photographer of the Week #212: Meron Menghistab

Introducing Photographer of the Week #212, Meron Menghistab.

Meron Menghistab is an Eritrean-American photographer based in Brooklyn and Seattle. Working primarily in editorial, his principal focus is to create portraiture and narratives that show the commonality between his subject and his viewers. A sense of community is important to Menghistab’s work, and is ever-present in his story-telling. This search for sincere connection is highlighted in The Rest of Us, Menghistab’s series reflecting tenderly on family and immigration. From the artist:

The sacrificial nature of immigration in itself—whether in the literal sense of resources and class or the emotional stability of a family and/or friends—can oftentimes be contextually lost within a single generation. My photographic journal, titled The Rest of Us, is an ongoing collection of images made as I look to connect with the collective memories of my family, and our home I’ve never known, Eritrea. The vernacular power of photography and its ability to hold our history and stories is such a vital part of a legacy, particularly for those who are physically removed from spaces they love(d). This work serves as a visual diary of images that represent my experiences as an Eritrean-American, as well as images constructed from memories told to me by my parents and elders.

This past May I was supposed to go to Eritrea with my father, but due to the pandemic at hand, we were not able to. I see that part of him, that part of me, that part of us,  as so important for the next step of photographing our family; where the rest of us will be and can be is our story.

Meron Menghistab (b. 1989, Atlanta, GA) is a Seattle-bred photographer/director working in both commercial and editorial visual media. Celebrated for his iconic photographs of the late rapper Nipsey Hustle, he is a recipient of the America Photography 33 Award, and one of thirty photographers chosen for Authority Collective’s first The Lit List. Menghistab’s clients include The New York Times, Adidas, Vogue, The FADER, Surface Magazine, and more. For more information on Menghistab’s work, visit his website.