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We Are Present: 2020 in Portraits


We Are Present: 2020 in Portraits is a year-long visual account of love, grief, vulnerability, creativity, isolation, communion, determination and faith braided within its narrative.

Taking us through one of the most dynamic years in recent history, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn has assembled a series of tender yet confrontational portraits from her assignment work as a photojournalist and off-duty encounters. Photographed on location in New York, Minneapolis and Louisville, the images are linked chronologically, beginning in the unassuming winter months, transitioning into the devastating onset of a global pandemic in the spring, pivoting into a summer of spirited Black Lives Matter demonstrations, before meandering into a volatile fall election season. The portraits in We Are Present distill the intimacy at play between sitter and photographer echoing the quieter stories adjacent to the main event of 2020.

Hardcover. 152 pages, 118 photographs.