Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe (b. 1951, USA) is an American photographer, photojournalist and AIDS activist. Beginning photography at the age of 18, she trained with American street photographer Garry Winogrand before graduating from the Cooper Union School of Art with a BFA in 1975, completing a year of independent photographic study in West Africa. Her 1977 photograph ‘Black Man, White Woman, Johannesburg, South Africa’ emblematised the visual narrative of apartheid at that time, recalling the institutionalised racism Jeanne had herself experienced as an African-American photographer.

Jeanne’s experience in South Africa informed her later work, encouraging her to focus on the contemporary experience of Blackness through humanist street photography. More recently, her photobook Daddy and Me: A Photo Story of Arthur Ashe and His Daughter, Camera (1993), which captures the last year of her husband Arthur Ashe’s life, has been praised as a sensitive record of family and mortality which demystifies AIDS. Following the tragedy of Ashe’s death, Jeanne has become a spokesperson for further AIDS research.

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