Project T Dot

Project T Dot is a documentary on Toronto’s hip-hop culture and community, which Ajani Charles began capturing in December of 2006, primarily through black and white photography, and which is still in production.

This definitive visual story will shed new light on the city’s hip-hop scene and present a Toronto subculture in a way that exemplifies the cultural richness of the city. Project T Dot will intimately document the city’s most renowned hip-hop figures, as well as many who are lesser-known, including members of LGBTQ and aboriginal communities, women, youth from underserved neighborhoods, and recent immigrants.

The tightly knit nature of the community will be shown through the relationship between the subject of one image and the next, be it one of influence, mentorship or collaboration.

As such, Project T Dot will visually capture the ecosystem of Toronto hip-hop, in which each member is dependent on others.

The artist chose black and white for Project T Dot because he finds colors can sometimes steal focus from the human subjects. He also believes that black and white imagery conveys a poignant rawness that reflects the community’s hunger for international recognition.

While other works have documented this city’s urban arts, they have not intimately and comprehensively profiled the individuals most responsible for the creation and dynamism of Toronto hip-hop.

Project T Dot will visually fill this gap; the stories of these young people need to be told with a verve and flourish equal to their talent, determination, and resilience, as a record of their enriching contributions to the cultures of Toronto and Canada, and in a way that is compelling and beautiful, regardless of whether or not the viewer loves hip-hop.

This documentary will record significant moments in the lives of the people who have created Toronto hip-hop, including musicians, dancers, writers, visual artists, educators and entrepreneurs who successfully balance their art with day-to-day routines, which often include full-time jobs, education, and community activities. It will also tell the story of Toronto hip-hop between the late 1970s and 2017.

Featured through Complex and Flavorwire, the project will culminate in the publication of a coffee table book, the production of a Project T Dot video documentary, the production of a Project T Dot digital platform, a Project T Dot art exhibit, and a non-profit organization that teaches youth from Toronto’s priority neighborhoods how to turn their hip-hop art forms into sustainable non-profits and businesses, by the end of 2022.

ServicesWriting, Production, Photography, CinematographyYear2006-Present

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