At annual festival, photographers from the continent challenge 'Afro-pessimist' narrative
The results of such explorations can be problematic. When the
Swiss-Guinean photographer Namsa Leuba traveled to her mother’s native
Guinea for the first time, hoping to probe the mystical aspects of her
African roots, she took sacred statues and fetishes and attempted to
“separate [them] from their religious context in order to immortalize
them in a Western framework.” Many villagers, however, considered her
images sacrilegious and reacted to them with hostility. The experience
helped frame the photographer’s later works.
“I constantly question myself,” says Leuba. “Through a lens, I test my
self-analysis and I put myself up for discussion. In some ways, my
photographs are judgments, or accusations.”
While Leuba’s series for LagosPhoto, “Cocktail,” explores
contemporary representations of the African woman’s body, the lavish
photos — originally commissioned by the Paris-based fashion and culture
magazine WAD — burst with a colorful boldness and insouciance that seem
to speak to an Africa that is increasingly young and urban. Indeed, many
of the participants in this year’s festival are conversant in the
visual tropes of hip-hop and fashion, something that artists like
Chiurai suggest will be a powerful force for Africans photographers
shaping a new narrative for their continent.
“There’s a different language that my generation uses,” he says. “The
population is younger now. We have a greater voice in all of this.”
AFRO-POLIS Exhibit my work - 15 to 19 October 2014 - London, UK
AFRO-POLIS is pleased to invite international tastemakers, African dandies and cool kids to a 5 day event, in true celebration of the African touch.
The African Renaissance
The visitor are introducted to the Affogbolos, a fictitious young couple from Lagos, Nigeria. Kolade Affogbolo is an architect and hsi wife, Remi, who originalily hails from Angola, is a lawyer. Well-travelled, passionate about Art, design and culture, this modern and discerning couple embodies the values and aesthetics of their generation. The visitors are invited into their dining room to experience up close and personal how they live. Food is a fundemental human necessity, essential to the sustenance of the body, and at the same time, it is a fantastic way to experience and apprehend someone's culture. Deep social and cultural meanings are embedded within our everyday food practices and for most cultures, the dining room is the catalyst of that experience. The African Renaissance will explore the socialogical and aesthetic dynamics at the heart of the modern Pan-African way of life, as they translate through Food, Art and Design.
Curated by Pierre-Christophe, the participating artists include: Barthelemy Toguo, (1967,Cameroon/France), Pierre-Christophe Gam (1983,Cameroon/Tchad/France); Baudouin Mouanda (1981, Congo), Namsa Leuba (1982, Guinea/Switzerland), Cyrus Kabiru (1985, Kenya), Cheick Diallo (1960, Mali); Yinka Ilori (1987, Nigeria / London), Eric Pina (1978, Senegal).