All posts tagged: colonialism

Intersections of religion in Giya Makondo-Wills’ South Africa

“South Africa is a deeply religious country,” says Giya Makondo-Wills, whose work-in-progress, They Came From the Water While the World Watched, maps out the interplay between Christianity and ancestral religion in the region. With four trips to the country under her belt so far, the 23-year old has travelled as much into the past as in the present, tracing the indelible repercussions of 19th-century European migration as they resonate through South African culture today.

Makondo-Wills, who is British-South African, became interested in her African grandmother’s faith while shooting another project. “She’s very Orthodox Christian but she also still practises ancestral religion, and that’s a core part of who she is. She prays to a God and the gods,” the photographer explains.

This duality got her thinking about the intersections of belief systems and how they were brought into contact. How did Christianity become so influential? How does it co-exist with indigenous religions? Building on her interests in race and identity, these questions soon elicited many others, spawning a long-term project that has carried her from a BA to an MA at the University of South Wales.

2018-09-28T10:21:23+00:00

Africa in the Photobook

Only a small percentage of the 400 books that Ben Krewinkel has collected and featured on his website, Africa in the Photobook, are actually African. Many are historical publications, political pamphlets, or children’s books, written, photographed, and published by Europeans – including old colonial texts, which seem to obsess over hairstyles and traditions of scarification. Even the books by contemporary African photographers are mostly published in the West. As a collection that covers more than a century from 1897 to 2018, Africa in the Photobook follows the changing visual representations of the continent through the medium of the photobook – and soon it too will be transformed into a series of photobooks.

Krewinkel, a Dutch photographer, curator, and educator, is working with South African publishers Fourthwall Books on this series, and hopes to publish volume I by the end of 2019. Focusing on Africa under colonialism, it will include a long historical introduction, 40 case studies, and plenty of space to show large spreads from the books. Volume II will sketch a path from the beginnings of decolonisation in the 1950s to the late 1990s, marking the end of Apartheid and also the “re-evaluation of African photography”. Krewinkel then hopes to create a third volume, focusing on contemporary African photo books.

2018-09-26T12:18:53+00:00

Finding transcendence through the image: the work of Mario Cravo Neto

The work of Mario Cravo Neto has long been under-appreciated on British shores. Despite long being a celebrated figure of contemporary Brazilian photography at home and abroad – having exhibited extensively in South America and the United States as well as at the Recontre d’Arles – the photographer, who died in 2009, hasn’t been exposed to British audiences to the same extent. The first UK solo exhibition of his work has recently gone on show at London’s Autograph ABP, under the auspices of the gallery director Mark Sealy and guest curator Gabriela Salgado. I visited the gallery as the show was being installed as Salgado explained what makes Mario Cravo Neto such an essential figure in Brazilian art. “MY IDEA FROM NOW ON IS TO DEVELOP THAT TRANSITION BETWEEN THE INERT OBJECT AND THE SACRED OBJECT. IT IS SIMPLY A RELIGIOUS POSITION IN PHOTOGRAPHY THAT I WISH TO ADOPT.” – MARIO CRAVO NETO Cultural tastes may have had a part to play in his long absence from these shores, with Cravo Neto’s idiosyncratic studio portraits …

2016-02-12T11:14:55+00:00

Historic photojournalism depicting the growth of Irish nationalism

“The Irish can’t forget their history because the English refuse to remember it,” says Luke Dodd, quoting renowned academic Terry Eagleton. If that’s true, it’s something Dodd hopes to change with an exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery devoted to Ireland’s rebellion against British rule. The Easter Rising 1916: Sean Sexton Collection depicts the growth of Irish nationalism, the uprising of 1916, the subsequent emergence of the Irish Free State, and how it all played out in images. Dodd, who has just edited a book of Jane Brown’s photojournalism, has drawn the images from a private collection of more than 20,000 prints put together by Sexton over the last 50 years. Including press and military photographs, amateur shots and postcards, Sexton’s archive is outstanding, says Dodd, because it’s so comprehensive, but at the same time so personal. “He’s a slightly eccentric character and has searched everywhere – he’s been to every car boot sale, and voraciously collected anything Irish,” he says. “That means there’s a lot of obscure stuff, but that’s also its great strength. “There aren’t …

2016-01-12T17:34:56+00:00

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

Christophe Gin wins 6th edition of the Carmignac Foundation’s Photojournalism Award

Christophe Gin has been awarded the 6th edition of the Carmignac Foundation’s Photojournalism Award, winning a €50,000 grant for Colonie, his work ruminating on lawless areas in France. Created in 2009, the award has sponsored photojournalism in conflict zones and neglected regions; previous winners include Robin Hammond (featured in our latest Portrait issue) and recent Magnum Photos nominee Newsha Tavakolian. The award was mired in controversy last year, after Tavakolian contended that the foundation’s benefactor, French investment banker Edouard Carmignac began to interfere with with the presentation of her work to an “unacceptable” degree. The foundation disputed her remarks, claiming the postponing of her project was due to purported threats to the photographer’s safety, which it said Tavakolian reported. It would seem any acrimony has abated, however – Tavakolian’s work will be part of the Carmignac Foundation’s upcoming retrospective at Saatchi Gallery, London. It features 40 works produced since the award’s inception by all laureates – Kai Wiedenhöfer, Massimo Berruti, Robin Hammond, David Monteleone, Tavakolian and this year’s winner Christophe Gin. Colonie, Gin’s winning project delved into French Guiana, a region in …

2016-08-01T15:38:02+00:00

BJP Staff