It is a fitting title for Laylah Amatullah Barrayn’s solo exhibition which is a visual register of her travels to various cities in the West African nation for the last 20 years. Barrayn often heard the phrase invoked to describe an array of circumstances, good, bad or complicated, which spoke to the sense of gratitude and spiritual connectedness of the Senegalese people she met. Jamm Rek was a consistent state of mind and soul when Barrayn sought to compose her images. “I sought to capture an intense sense of tranquility capturing the physical space I inhabited at the very moment.”
Many of the images were made as visual notes during her visits which ranged from work to leisure to spiritual matters. Some of the images in Jamm Rek are from her other series, such as her Baye Fall work, which has been exhibited in various museums across the USA and her reportage in Casamance and Saint-Louis.
Through documentary photography and portraiture, Barrayn has investigated collective histories as varied as resistance movements in Senegalese Sufism to queer identities among Black women living in New York City. Her works seek to highlight the intersectionality of these communities, specifically as it relates to religion, gender and sexuality. She has traveled internationally seeking to understand how identity is expressed collectively and individually in different localities.