An MTSU alumnus who went to Africa to treat illnesses and managed to find gold was the guest on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.
Host Gina Logue’s interview with Adam Shulman first aired April 18 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org. You can listen to their conversation below.
Shulman’s debut solo photography exhibition, “The Gold of Africa,” is on display through May 6 at Tinney Contemporary Art Gallery, 237 5th Ave. N. in Nashville.
The self-taught photographer took the pictures while working as a medical physicist in Senegal, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Qatar. He spent over a year shooting and editing the photos, which consist of 19 images and five behind-the-scenes videos showing Shulman and the models in action.
The dynamic images of black men and women decorated with gold on their bodies create a startling contrast as Shulman attempts to convey that the “gold” in Africa is not in a precious metal, but in the hearts and souls of its people.
“The gold substance applied to the models’ bodies was actually just … potting clay,” said Shulman, a Nashville native.
“I would mix it with water, get it into a wet sort of mud, put it on the models’ bodies and then I would use a hair dryer to dry it. As it dried, it sort of hardened and cracked and got the look that it has.”
A product of the University Honors College, Shulman graduated summa cum laude from MTSU with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 2007. He earned his master’s degree in medical physics from Vanderbilt University in 2009.
You can learn more about his work and see some of his “Gold of Africa” photos here.
To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.
For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.