Mikael Chukwuma Owunna

Mikael Chukwuma Owunna (b. 1990) is an award-winning queer Nigerian-Swedish American artist, photographer, Fulbright Scholar and engineer born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mikael's work explores the relationship between engineering, optics, the black body and queerness.

Mikael has dual degrees in Biomedical Engineering and History (Duke University '12), where he graduated with distinction in engineering and an Angier B. Duke Memorial scholarship. Mikael's Fulbright scholarship took place in Taiwan (2012-13) where he taught photography to Taiwanese aboriginal youth as a space for cultural empowerment with Prof. Christine Yeh of USF, ultimately culminating in a full floor exhibition of the students' works at the National Taiwan Museum (2014).

Mikael's projects, I am Atayal!, Limit(less) and Infinite Essence, have collectively exhibited across Asia, Europe and North America and been featured in media ranging from the New York Times, CNN, NPR, The Guardian, PBS, The British Journal of Photography, BuzzFeed, VICE, Al-Jazeera Plus, Photo District News and Teen Vogue to the official outlet of Taiwan's Ministry of Culture. Mikael has been awarded with selections for Photolucida's Critical Mass Top 50, the FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo (finalist), the New York Times Portfolio Review, the Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Awards and juried selection for Review Santa Fe. He has spoken and lectured about his work at venues including World Press Photo (Netherlands), Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, Duke University, the Paris Institute of Political Studies (France) and Sveriges Radio (Sweden). Mikael speaks English (fluent), French (advanced professional-proficiency) and basic Mandarin Chinese. His work imagines new universes and realities for marginalized communities around the globe.

Mikael's work has been supported by The Heinz Endowments, The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Fine Foundation, The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and The Opportunity Fund.

Curriculum Vitae

Download Mikael Owunna's C.V.


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