David Ofori Zapparoli is the son of immigrant parents and was raised in Toronto.
Since the early 1980s Zapparoli has used lens-based art to document and reveal the lives of the marginalized in society. In the mid-to-late 1980s he collaborated with filmmakers on productions that focused on the immigration experience, Black female representation, and jazz music in Toronto. In the 1990s he photographed the Regent Park housing development, which resulted in several exhibitions and a book, Regent Park: The Public Experiment In Housing.
In the 1990s he made a series of experimental portraits that addressed the issue of “nature vs nurture” that related to his African and European heritage. Part of this work travelled internationally and is represented in The Anthology of African and Indian Ocean Photography.
In 2022 he released a book, Street Level: A Search For Belonging, that documents four decades of his street photography. Copies can be purchased from his website linked below.
For the project I Am Black History Zapparoli is collaborating with artist Donna Paris and is providing the portraits of all the interviewees.