Elias Williams

Elias Williams, United States

Black Before 1975

Black Before 1975 sheds light on the shortcomings of forward mobility for Black Americans in Addisleigh Park, a small enclave in his hometown St. Albans, United States. St. Albans is a semi-suburban predominantly middle-class Black-American community, one of the few places where Black Americans could pursue homeownership in New York City. The community was also once home to many Black Jazz musicians and athletes. Building on his previous work in St. Albans, the project documents the transition of a once predominantly white community into a predominantly Black community.


Elias Williams is a documentary and portrait photographer born, raised and working in New
York City, United States. His work focuses on honoring underrepresented communities that resonate with his cultural background in the United States. Through portraiture and long-term storytelling, he studies the cultural and historical significance of everyday people within these communities.

Instagram: @elias.williams

2020 Joop Swart Masterclass

For the first time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Joop Swart Masterclass took place online over a period of four months, and 24 participants and eight masters were selected to make the program more inclusive. The educational experience of the Joop Swart Masterclass is based on an assignment to produce a photo essay around a given theme. This year the theme was ‘Reset’.

From July to October 2020, the participants worked on their projects and received mentorship and guidance from the mentors.

Learn more about the 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass.