Personal Truths

by Thaddeus Miles

Thaddeus Miles

Video edited by
Ernesto Galan

Music by
Miranda Rae
“Invitation for Love”


Everyday, life is a dance between moments, amidst the chaos and
the calm, amongst our people and
within the world. Movement connects
us – we are all dancing.


Thaddeus Miles self portrait, wearing a t-shirt with the word HOPE on the front; black and white photography

“With an intimate gesture of my camera,
I invite you to make my journey your own.”
Thaddeus Miles

My photography is an intimate gesture of composition: an embrace between what the eyes can see and the visual journey of imagination. Though I am the photographer, it is you, the viewer, who makes the choices. On what to focus? What to exclude? You are eavesdropping on a conversation between me and my lens and finding your own way with the work.

Throughout my professional career I have come face
to face with the injustices and deprivation that fuel
violent crime with tragedy, hopelessness and despair.
I believe that detachment and denial are not antidotes.
I have a commitment to support citizens of our communities to develop their voices and create their
own urban legacy: to tell their own truths – about faith, resilience and community.

Thaddeus Miles self portrait in a room, praying; black and white photography

“When we have joy,
we can dig deep.”
Thaddeus Miles –
Black Joy Project

But this is not my only reality. I also embark on a personal journey through my photography to reveal a shared terrain of natural beauty. Photography allows me a vision beyond hopelessness and chaos. A door is closed. A flower is open. There is a path along the river. I invite you to bask in the shadows as well as the illumination. Their juxtaposition in my black and white photography does not exist in order to blur distinctions, but to draw attention to the very nature of things – where we might stand in our differences on common ground.

We must be of keen sight to disavow our detachments and grasp what is embedded beyond our line of vision. We raise a conch shell to our ear and hear the sirens, the gospel music, the gunshots, and the jump rope slapping the pavement. Like an ocean of storytellers, we sound the discordant jazz notes of our common legacy.