Alongside promoting the work of colleagues in photography Irungu is also a multimedia journalist, a Digital Content Editor at New York Public Radio (WNYC), and a self-taught photographer. She has had her work published on Global Citizen, NPR, BBC News, The Luupe, MEFeater, Refinery29, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, CNN, HuffPost, Okayplayer, and OkayAfrica.

Polly recently had a chat for a chat with Photographers Without Borders (PWB) founder Danielle Da Silva as part of PWB’s ongoing ” Storytelling for Change” webinar series. Below are edited excerpts of the conversation that touch on the inspiration behind her decision to start a movement of Black Women Photographers, imagining the impossible, working in ,a predominantly male industry and fostering changes.

Da Silva: What motivated you to begin Black Women Photographers?

Irungu, I was at a predominantly white school that had around 24,000 students, and of those 300 students, only 300 identified themselves as Black. I had no acquaintances with Black photographers, particularly Black women photographers. I could take pictures of everything on campus, but the atmosphere was solitary, and challenging to navigate. Since it is a predominantly white male sector, it’s difficult because of various obstacles.

I discovered The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) at the university. It was my first encounter with other Black reporters, Black photographers, and Black women working in the field. I created a list on Twitter named Black Women Photographers and added those whose work I had seen appear on my timeline, which impressed me.

Irungu, I noticed specific changes, but what’s concerning is how long this change lasts. Are they simply temporary? At this moment, we’re all contemplating it. We’ve been through these discussions before. Everyone has had enough of repeating themselves and repeating the exact phrase repeatedly. How do we expect this to last? Are we going to have these conversations in the coming months next year, or are we being noticed by different times of the year that are amplifying for us, such as Black History Month? Is this the only time we are re-thought on other covers, campaigns, and magazines? I’ve noticed some changes, but I’m unsure still determining still determining how long the changes will last.

Da Silva: You said earlier that you did not imagine this path. Imagination is essential for bringing any idea to fruition. It’s the most crucial ingredient in convincing people to consider claiming the space.

Irungu, I agree. It’s hard to think of the things you don’t. Why would you dream of that if you’re not represented or aren’t used to seeing Black photographers receiving billboards or shining spotlights at Times Square? This is my chance to assist others in imagining the same thing for themselves. I am aware that it could happen to me. Now, what else could be done?

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