Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art – new media

Sophia Nahli Allison

Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art – new media
Region: Durham, NC
MacDowell Fellowships: 2019

Sophia Nahli Allison is an experimental documentary filmmaker and photographer from South Central Los Angeles. She disrupts conventional documentary methods by reimagining the archives to excavate hidden truths. She conjures ancestral memories to explore the intersection of fiction and non-fiction storytelling. Her short hybrid documentary A Love Song For Latasha world premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and had an international premiere at Sheffield Doc|Fest, among other festival screenings. Sophia was a 2018 Sundance Institute New Frontier Lab Programs Fellow and a recipient of a 2018 Glassbreaker Films Catalyst Grant. She has been an Artist-In-Residence at The Center for Photography at Woodstock and a 3Arts Residency Fellow at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France. Her ongoing project Dreaming Gave Us Wings was published in The New Yorker. She was named the 2017 Student Video Photographer of the Year by the White House News Photographer Association and is a recipient of a 2014 Chicago 3Arts Award. Sophia received her master's in visual communication from The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as a Roy H. Park Fellow and holds a bachelor's in photojournalism from Columbia College Chicago.

During her Fellowship at MacDowell, Sophia worked on several essays to accompany Dreaming Gave Us Wings. The project has received support from a Women Photograph + Nikon grant. Shortly after finishing her fellowship at MacDowell she completed an artist residency with POV Spark's African Interactive Art Residency in partnership with the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.



Sophia Nahli Allison worked in the Nef studio.

Nef Studio, the first entirely new studio built after 1937, was donated by esteemed photographer, explorer, author, and MacDowell Fellow Evelyn Steffanson Nef in 1992. Endowed funds for the studio’s maintenance in perpetuity and an annual Fellowship for photographers were given in addition to funds for construction. Mrs. Nef said she had known about MacDowell all her…

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