Amarachi Nwosu’s “Black In Tokyo” Explores the Black Expat Experience in Japan

11/08/2017 12:00 pm ET Updated Nov 08, 2017
Amarachi Nwosu in downtown Tokyo.
Kaitlin Chan
Amarachi Nwosu in downtown Tokyo.

When asked why she decided to document the lives of five black expats in Japan, Nigerian-American Amarachi Nwosu was brief: “Because no one else had done it.”

The black experience abroad is overlooked and underrepresented in the media. Nowhere is this more apparent than in a racially homogenous country like Japan.

Amarachi moved to Japan to study when she was 20 years old. Her world in Tokyo was soon filled by inspiring individuals creating their own space in Japan and shattering stereotypes in the process. Amarachi wanted to expose and tell their stories, and “Black In Tokyo” was born.

Her latest project is a documentary short which follows five subjects hailing from all parts of the world, including Ghana, Eritrea and the U.S. The dialogue explores both the cultural challenges and opportunities of being black living in Tokyo and highlights subjects like race relations and media representation of black culture in Asia.

“Black In Tokyo” will be launched on her visual platform Melanin Unscripted, which is dedicated to dismantling stereotypes through visual projects that blur the racial lines. The idea behind Melanin Unscripted is to inspire people to pursue their passions regardless of what background they come from by sharing unique stories of individuals, who are pushing the culture and paving the way for the next generation of young people.

Amarachi hopes that “Black In Tokyo” and her platform Melanin Unscripted can shape change and be a part of exposing complex identities instead of the one-dimensional characters often seen in mainstream media. Amarachi wants her work to bridge gaps between cultures around the world and start conversations that cultivate understanding amongst people.

The preview for “Black In Tokyo” was released today.

Amarachi is set to premier the full documentary for Black in Tokyo in NYC at the international Center of Photography on Thursday, November 16th and plans to release the full film on her platform Melanin Unscripted at the end of the month.

For more information on the NYC screening and RSVP information, visit the event page here.

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