All posts tagged: Africa

Dissecting post-colonial memory with colour and experimental print techniques

The work of Angolan photographer Délio Jasse is colourful and textured, experimenting with analogue photographic printing processes such as cyanotype and platinum. His work has caught the eye of London gallery Tiwani Contemporary, who now represent the 35-year-old. Jasse has previously exhibited at the gallery, which focuses on Africa and the diaspora, as part of the group exhibition The View From Here, and recent exhibitions include a solo show at SMAC Gallery, Cape Town (2014) and group shows at Savvy Contemporary, Berlin (2013) and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (2013). Jasse was also one of three finalists in the BES Photo Prize (2014), and is part of the official selections for the Angolan pavilions at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015) and World Expo, Milan (2015). His work draws links between generations and cultures, combining found imagery with his own photography to explore memory. As he tells us, “Photography and memory are deeply connected. Photography can bring you back to a moment in the past, we need a visual hint to remember certain things or faces. At …

2015-11-26T16:17:27+00:00

Peter Beard’s landmark work documenting man-made destruction done to Africa’s wildlife

“The deeper the white man went into Africa, the faster the life flowed out of it, off the plains and out of the bush…vanishing in acres of trophies and hides and carcasses” proclaimed renowned photographer and artist Peter Beard in his 1965 seminal publication The End Game, a tome highlighting the atrocities of man made destruction done to Africa’s wildlife in the National Parks of Kenya’s Tsavo lowlands and Uganda.     And in 2015, deeper the white man goes. July saw online outrage erupt over the merciless killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, poached by US dentist Walter Palmer for a sum of $50,000. Meanwhile as the world mourned Cecil, five of Kenya’s endangered elephants were quietly slain in Tsavo, to the absent furor of almost no media attention. This devastating poaching incident echoes The End Game’s haunting images and text that fill its 292 pages, which chronicle the same ruthless fate these endangered elephants were subject to half a century ago as they are today.     The 50th anniversary edition of …

2015-11-18T13:22:01+00:00

The Malian festival celebrating the diversity and vitality of African photography

Bamako Encounters, set up primarily to showcase African photography, had to wait a long time to celebrate its tenth edition. The festivities were initially scheduled for autumn 2013 – 20 years after French photographer Françoise Huguier began the initiative in the Malian capital. But in January 2012, insurgent groups began fighting for the independence of the Azawad region. Within two months, President Amadou Toumani Touré had been ousted but the rebels splintered as soon as they had declared victory. Islamist factions prevailed, imposing strict Sharia law in the region. Unable to bring the conflict to an end on its own, the Malian government called for foreign military support. France, once the colonial power, controversially got involved. Its forces rapidly regained control but guerilla attacks continued for months before a first peace deal was signed in June 2013. That agreement didn’t last but a fragile new accord was signed in June this year. The unrest prevented the Bamako Encounters team from staging the event, but this year they decided to take advantage of what looks like a more enduring …

2015-11-04T12:59:01+00:00

Patrick Willocq went from corporate multinationals to the DR Congo to photograph the land of his childhood

As a child, Patrick Willocq spent seven years in the Democratic Republic of Congo; with a camera given to him by his father, he recorded the people and places he encountered. In 2009, 27 years after leaving, he returned, and the trip proved a revelation. “I totally reconnected with myself,” he says. “My passion for photography revealed itself stronger than ever. This helped me face the fact that I was fundamentally not happy with my life.” Willocq had been working for corporate multinationals in Asia for nearly two decades, but he abandoned his successful career to resettle in DR Congo. “I feel at home in the remote villages among the locals,” he says. “I have always been struck by the beauty, simplicity and dignity of daily life there. I want to go beyond the images that stigmatise the nation; for instance, I wish to bear witness to the peace that prevails in the Western part of the country.” His first series, On the road from Bikoro to Bokonda, bears testimony to the everyday challenges faced by the Batwa …

2015-09-07T11:10:50+00:00

The Manchester town hall meeting that shaped Africa: remembering the Fifth Pan-African Congress

In October 1945, as European powers have retreated within themselves, decimated, disfigured and shellshocked by the tide of death that had swept over the continent for the last six years, 87 delegates representing 50 organisations met in a town hall in Manchester. They came together for the Fifth Pan-African Congress, all with a singular, righteous purpose: the liberation of hundreds of millions of Africans living under colonial rule. Seventy years have passed since the Fifth Pan-African Congress, an event which, in hindsight, was one of the most significant happenings of African organisation ever to have occurred in Britain, perhaps the world. To commemorate, Autograph ABP are, for the first time, exhibiting photographs taken at the event.  The exhibition features over thirty photographs, a selection of rare ephemera and materials associated with the Congress and will be accompanied by a Pan-African Film Lounge, screening a programme of films exploring Pan-African history. “It’s an interesting chapter in history in many ways,” says Mark Sealy, director of Autograph ABP. “It’s significant in terms of who was there and why they were there — Jomo …

2015-09-09T10:59:16+00:00

Codes of living for a black man in township South Africa

“He’s a a typical black gangster,” Sipho Gongxeka says. “Rings, cigarette, dark-skinned, and with a dope-ass suit.” Sipho breaks into peels of laughter. The 24-year-old South African, who grew up on a Soweto township, is describing an image from his series Skeem’ Saka of a black man – his friend, it turns out – with bleached hair and a dapper double-breasted suit, smoke curling from his fingers, a separate chunk of precious metal on each. Gongxeka, a former making-it footballer for South Africa’s lower leagues, identifies himself as a ‘fashion-documentary’ photographer. For motivation, he does not look much further than the streets of Soweto. Gongxeka’s photographs are meditations, he says, on the “circular relationship” between the reality of black male life in township South Africa, mediated images of black culture (and how often they are associated with remorseless violence) and the insinuations of clothes. “A certain dress code does not necessarily accompany a certain mode of behaviour or personality,” he says. Skeem’ Saka loosely translates as ‘Homeboys in the Township,’ an attempt, Gongxeka says, to capture relationships that go beyond friendship.  His …

2015-08-24T12:18:57+00:00

BJP Staff