Namsa Leuba was born in Switzerland in 1982. Her mother is Guinean and her father is Swiss.
Leuba got her Major in Photography from the University of Art and Design in Lusanne in 2011 and in 2013 she got a Post Grad in Photography from School of Visual Arts in New York.
Her work has been published, exhibited and awarded several times. Especially her series Ya Kala Ben from 2011, has received worldwide attention.
Ya Kala Ben is a series of photos taken on a trip to Conkray in Guinea. In her own words this is her thoughts about the photos: “In this work, I was interested in the construction and deconstruction of the body as well as the depiction of the invisible. I have studied ritual artifacts common to the cosmology of Guineans; statuettes that are part of a ceremonial structure. They are from another world, they are the roots of the living. Thereby, I sought to touch the untouchable.”
All photos shown here are from Ya Kala Ben.
For further information about Namsa Leuba's work please visit her website at www.namsaleuba.com.
Mouna Karray was born in 1970 in Sfax, Tunisia. She tudied at Tokyo Institute of Polytechnics and Arts in Japan, where she got her MA in Image Media in 2002. Since then she has taken part in several group exhibitions around the world, including the African Encounters of Photography in 2011 in Bamako and at Photoquai at the Quai Branly Museum, in 2009 in Paris. Furthermore she has had two solo exhibitions in Tunisia.
Karray works and lives both in Sfax and in Paris. She describes her work as taking root in her personal life, encounters and intellectual interests, and it releases cultural, identity and metaphysical questions.
“It attempts to go beyond the apparent and superficial meaning of objects, forging an ongoing dialogue between memory and anecdote, detail and context.”
The photos shown here by Karray, are from three different series.
Identity At Stake is from 2005. The project is about taking pictures of women in their own environment and then after that, taking photos of herself in the women’s environments. She adopts their gestures and the way they dress themselves.
"In this act of substitution, I take the risk to approach as close as possible the identity of the other. Through this smooth slipping, I bring the two identities at stake. If the resemblance seems to be sought during the photographic session, in the end the difference is revealed."
Murmurer is from 2007-2009 and are photos taken in her hometown Sfax. Due to political decisions, public places in Sfax have over the last four decades, gradually become non accessible and have thereby turned into areas without any actual function. Karray explains, that places appear and disappear, but their borders are still there. The title of the series is a french word which means to whisper, but it also contains the word mur, which means wall.
"The title itself mirrors the effect of abstract wall paintings, walls and boundaries of disappearing places, which hardly reveal the secret of their past and their ambiguous functions in the future."
Noir is from 2013, and of this series Karray says:
"In jail, my body is constrained but remains able to create. Only my hand is visible to activate the shooting distance . The air release, single connection with the outside world, is no longer just an instrument to accomplish a 'photographic act', but turns out to be a way to get free. It is in the dark we start to see."
For further information about Mouna Karray's work please visit her website at www.mounakarray.com.
Lien Botha was born in 1961, in Gauteng, South Africa. In 1984 she moved to Cape Town, where she four years later obtained a BA Fine Arts Degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art. She had previous to her moving, worked as a press photographer for the daily newspaper Beeld.
Botha has had nine solo exhibitions and participated in over a 100 national and international group exhibitions. Her next solo show will be at Barnard Gallery in Cape Town, in March 2014.
Besides working as a professional photographer she has been invited as a guest lecturer at several universities for further education, such as the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and Studio Art Centres International in Florence, Italy. Furthermore she has curated five exhibitions and participated in the curatorial committee of the first Cape Town Month of Photography. Her work has been included in Towards a Balanced Earth, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008; Reflets d’Afrique, the Pan-African Festival, MOMA, Algiers, 2009; Crossing Boundaries, Virginia Commonwealth University, Doha (2011); and Ars 11, Finland, 2011.
The photos, which are shown here, are from two different series; Yonder from 2011 and Parrot Jungle from 2009. Some of the images from Parrot Jungle, were part of the ninth Bamako Encounters “Pour un monde durable", which opened in November 2011 in Mali, whilst Yonder still is an ongoing project.
For further information about Lien Botha's work please visit her website at www.lienbotha.co.za.
Born in Benin to a Beninese father and a Belgian mother, Fabrice Monteiro’s childhood is nurtured with multiple cultures. Hovering between photojournalism and fashion photography, he developed a taste for portraits, and the intimacy and sensitivity it reveals, particularly in his homeland, Benin.
Remembering a fascination for slaves shackles he had developed as a child reading the comic book Les Passagers du Vent, he began his work with an almost anthropological approach. No victimization, no stereotype, no charges. From then on, the series Marrons is created – an interesting series, beautifully portraying a horrible incident, thus in some way repulsive and yet both beautiful and intriguing at the same time. Isolated in a dark room, his models are wearing chains and other shackles meant to keep them in captivity. Monteiro immortalizes the subjects in a game of light, to create an almost artistic-documentary that juxtapose contemporary visual art with the materialization of the violent past.
For further information about Fabrice Monteiro’s work please visit his website at www.fabricemonteiro.viewbook.com.
Dillon Marsh graduated in 2003 from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts. During the course of his studies he was drawn to photography and has remained passionate about it ever since.
Conceptual photography characterizes Marsh’s work. Furthermore, he seeks to capture the odd in the normal, thereby making the spectator look twice. This can be seen in Marsh’s work Landmark that revolves around the landscapes we as human beings occupy. These landscapes are filled with natural and man-made features and reveal curious details about us and about our relationship with the surrounding environment. Cell phone towers disguised as trees, telephone poles overtaken by huge bird nests, trees in urban spaces that have died but not fallen, abandoned cars and houses, all of which are examples of some of the themes that Marsh has explored in recent years.
“My main focus as an artist has been directed towards landscape series. In these series I seek to find things that are out of the ordinary, picking them out of the landscape where they might otherwise blend in. I often choose objects that can be found in multitude within their environment so that I can depict a family of objects in a series of photographs. By displaying each project as such, I feel I am able to show both the character of the individual object, and the characteristics that make these objects a family.”
For further information about Dillon Marsh's work please visit his website at www.dillonmarsh.com.
Omar Victor Diop, also known as V!KTOR, is a self-taught photographer from Dakar, Senegal. Since his early days, Diop developed an interest for photography and design, essentially as a means to capture the diversity of modern African societies and lifestyles.
With the series The Studio of Vanities, Diop portrays some of the most prominent and interesting people within the creative contemporary art scene of Africa. The series is inspired by the tradition of numerous portrait masters, that have paved the way for contemporary African photographers, and who made staged portrait their specialty.
“I am indeed very happy to join this African Photography Network for it will definitely become a reference point and an avenue to promote new portfolios and visions across the continent. On the internet, there is a long list of websites, blogs and portals dedicated to African contemporary arts, but very few of them are this much focused on photography.”
For further information about Omar Victor Diop's work please visit his website at www.omarviktor.com.
Jac Kritzinger was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1976. After finishing an Honours Degree in Film Studies, he started to explore many different forms of visual media, before deciding to focus on photography. He specialises in art, documentary and portrait photography.
Kritzinger works for several local and international publications and organizations, and his work has been included in The Image Says it All (Cape Town Month of Photography) and in CMYK, which is hosted by the Everard Read Group. Furthermore, he has received the Highly Commended prize at the PICA 2012 Awards, for Photography/Photojournalism.
Kritzinger considers himself to be first and foremost a poet, and secondly a photographer. He aims to reveal the quality behind everyday reality – there where words often aren’t enough.
“We all have our own unique way of viewing the world; in my case, seeing and capturing that which shines behind the confines of everyday reality has become a way of life. Beyond that, I believe my wanderlust, workaholism and the ability to convey the essence of my subject has contributed to my photographic success. And also having a sense of humour doesn’t hurt.”
For further information about Jac Kritzinger's work please visit his website at www.relevantreality.co.za.
Sydelle Willow Smith was born in 1987 in Johannesburg and after a few years of travelling she is now located in Cape Town. Smith attended the Market Photo Workshop and completed her foundation and intermediate courses in 2007. She then entered the University of Cape Town and graduated with an Honours degree in Social Anthropology and an Undergraduate degree in Video Production Specializing in Cinematography.
Smith works both as a photographer and a filmmaker, and in her work she focuses on the following themes: memory, home, place making and migration.
Her work has been exhibited in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Holland and Spain, and has also been published in a wide range of newspapers and magazines around the world.
Smith's latest exhibition was at the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg, and her next exhibition will be of the series Soft Walls at The Association for Visual Arts in Cape Town from May 12th until June 5th.
For further information about Sydelle Willow Smith's work please visit her website at www.sydellewillowsmith.com.
Hélène Amouzou is born in 1969 in Togo, but now lives and works in Molenbeek, Belgium. Amouzou is inspired by the American photographer Francesca Woodman, but she creates her own distinctive and haunting imagery, which speaks of the contemporary issue of the displacement of people and those in exile. She works with film rather than digital media, preferring the effects of chance and serendipity and she exploits the use of long exposures, playing with the photographic medium to create ephemeral and ghostly self-portraits.
“Self-portraiture is a way of writing without words. My aim is to reveal the deepest parts of myself.”
She captures herself or her belongings (often her clothes) in an empty room with peeling floral wallpaper. In many of the images she includes a suitcase as a recurrent symbol of her state of flux and transit. The photographs were taken during a two year period when Amouzou was seeking asylum in Belgium and waiting for her official residency visa.
These photographs reveal a constant questioning and search for the subject’s identity. Notions of freedom and legitimacy are explored in a world of bureaucracy and inequalities. Amouzou captures feelings of exclusion and the stigmatization by the lengthy official process. Those with permanent residency rights can only imagine the insecurity and daily worry of the possibility of being sent back to an unsafe place and the photographs reveal this sense of impermanence. Her ghostly images haunt each frame and hover in the no-man’s land between absence and presence.
For further information about Hélène Amouzou's work please visit her website at www.heleneamouzou.be.
Born in 1966 in Kano, Northern Nigeria, Charles Okereke is a multi-media artist, whose works span from painting, photography and sculpture to furniture design and making.
His works are research oriented, and verges more on humanity and the environment either through direct documentary photography for archival purposes, as a resource material for a re-interpretation of the documented object into broad based applications, as installed forms or developed to applied utilitarian purposes.
Charles Okereke’s photographic sojourn is branching to near abstraction, which at face value does not reveal any obvious statement, but becomes apparent on closer examination.
Okereke is a member of photography Collective, Black Box, and also a founding member of the Trans-African Photography Road Trip group – Invisible Borders.
Charles Okereke has appeared locally and internationally in major photographic events, such as: “For a Sustainable World” 9th Edition, Bamako in 2013; “Go-Slow: Diaries of Personal and Collective Stagnation in Lagos” at Skoto Gallery, New York, US also in 2013; “We Face Forward” Manchester Gallery U.K. Photo Installation in Manchester, UK in 2012.
For further information about Charles Okereke's work please visit his website at www.charles-okereke.blogspot.com.
Mpho Mokgadi is 25 years old and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has been practicing photography since early childhood, when his mother got him a point and shoot film camera. He hasn't been able to stop since, which is fortunate because the outcome is great.
Despite his young age he takes an old fashioned approach to photography as Mokgadi only shoots analogue.
”Through my photography I seek to document my own personal experiences, to capture scenes and events as I see them and share with others the beauty and diversity of the experiences I have had.”
For further information about Mpho Mokgadi's work please visit his website at www.mphomokgadi.tumblr.com.
Jon Riordan was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 1981. He is now currently living in Cape Town.
Riordan has had his work exhibited in South Africa – mostly in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, but has also shown his work across Europe in countries such as Poland, Spain and Ireland.
He has recently completed his Masters in Documentary Arts at the University of Cape Town, under the renowned photographer Paul Weinberg.
Riordan doesn’t know exactly when it was he got into photography. He originally went to university to become a writer, but instead ended up with a degree in photojournalism and an obsession with the photograph’s ability to tell stories.
“I feel that photography has an unmatched ability to tell a complicated story in a layered and subtle fashion. This ability allows the viewer to revisit the images time and again, and learn more each time.
I am particularly interested in the role history plays in present day society and have been greatly influenced by Simon Schama’s statement that landscape is built up as much from strata of memory as from layers of rock.
In a country that is as dominated by its history as South Africa this is particularly evident and it is through engaging with our everyday environments rather than the intensely personal that I hope to interrogate our lived experience.“
For further information about Jon Riordan's work please visit his website at www.jonriordan.wordpress.com.
Adeola Olagunju is a young Nigerian photographer who lives and works in Lagos. She graduated from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology with a degree in Fine and Applied Arts in 2009. She won the Lagos Photo Festival Award Prize 2012 and the Young ArtFund Amsterdam Award 2013.
Olagunju’s consciousness of art, time and trends has made her a critical, creative and passionate artist. With a performance-based work she extends her scope of practice with a language to challenge stereotypes, and the critical approach forms the basis of the ideas behind the series RESURGENCE: A MANIFESTO.
"We find ourselves in a world that takes its cue from negative and dark ideas, which can spread like a virus, ultimately becoming a strong hold for oppression and slavery."
RESURGENCE: A MANIFESTO is a series of photographic performance which portrays the unacceptability and high level of socio-religion and political decadence in Africa. This series of work reflects Olagunju’s forthrightness and crusade for resurgence from mental shackles. It focus on the quest for reawakening and awareness of our sense of identity, which she considers to be threatened. Olagunju’s work provides a sense of hope, paying attention to the form and signs of possible resistance.
For further information about Adeola Olagunju's work please visit her website at www.adeolaolagunju.com.
Ala Kheir was born in Nyala, south-west Sudan, in 1985. He has been obsessed with photography since secondary school, but in 2005 his obsession took off. He started reading about photography and it was then, he bought his first SLR camera. Gradually Kheir went from just owning a camera, to being a serious photography enthusiast who kept learning and trying different styles of photography.
“I find joy in all types and styles of photography. I’m not limiting myself to a certain kind of subject, but instead I shoot photos of everything around me.”
Kheir is inspired by American photographer Robert Adams and Kheir explains that his photos give him the desire to go out and explore different spaces.
Kheir has won several prizes, among them being the UN education photograph from 2010, the 2nd prize winner of Our Continent, Our Future photo competition from 2013 and 2nd prize winner of Connect for Climate photo competition 2012.
As well as having a solo exhibition during the Addis photo festival in 2012, he also had his work included in the I.B. group exhibition during the festival. The same year he was part of another group exhibition in New York, The Ungovernables. His work has been included in the group project 50+1 Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur from 2007 and the exhibition Feel the Color in Khartoum in 2009.
Jjumba Martin is a talented guy who just won the Daily Life category at Uganda Press Photo Award 2013, initiated by Foreign Correspondents' Association of Uganda.
Born in 1989, Martin is an Ugandan self-taught commercial, editorial and daily life photographer. He enjoys preserving memories and happy stories through photographs.
For further information about Jjumba Martin's work please visit his website at www.jjumbamartinphotography.wordpress.com.
Antonia Steyn graduated from the University of Cape Town on the Dean’s merit list in 2000 and began working to establish herself in photography. In 2005 she became a full time professional photographer and in 2007 was awarded Media 24 Photographer of the Year for her work with Pieter Dirk Uys. In 2008 her shoot with Eugene Terre Blanche won her an ABSA L’Atelier Merit Award. Her Triptych Steyn & De Villiers won the Vuleka Art Award 2011 and she was selected as one of the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans 2011.
Steyn’s portfolio encompasses a broad spectrum of work, which include portraits of Richard Branson and South African icons such as Uys and Terre Blanche. Advertising clients include, among others, Coca Cola, Siemans, Mobil, Babolat, Tiger Beer, Dove Men, 46664 Apparel, Mutual & Federal, Levis, Guinness, Minute Maid, Adidas, and Allan Gray.
For further information about Antonia Steyn's work please visit her website at www.antonia.co.za.
Isaac Kasamani is a young photojournalist, born and raised in Kenya, now working in Uganda as a freelance photographer. His journey towards photography could sound like the beginning of a joke, as he never went to school for photo journalism but instead, after a small stint in prison, he met a father figure who offered him photography work, while taking up training at The Daily Monitor, Uganda’s leading independent daily.
He is now working freelance at a local level with The Daily Monitor and internationally with Agence France Presse (AFP). His work can be characterized as political photography, and he loves working where the bullets fly high, right in the middle of the chaos, bullets and teargas. This reflects in the perspective of the stories he has been telling for more than three years now, making his photography interesting with a sometimes fierce perspective.
For further information about Isaac Kasamani's work please visit his website at www.everydaylifethroughcamera.blogspot.com.
Matthias Mugisha offers a different view of Africa – depicting a wide spectrum from everyday life and cultural events to nature and wildlife photography perspective.
The story goes like father like son. Matthias Mugisha got his first inspiration in photography at the age of 6, when his father gave him a camera as a birthday gift. His father was a secondary school science teacher and practised photography as a hobby. Out of curiosity little Mugisha dismantled the camera to find out how images were made but failed to assemble it. Though he lost the gift, it marked his journey into the photography world.
His work has mainly evolved around nature, having been inspired by the works of Ansel Easton Adam, who was an American photographer and environmentalist. His adventurous nature has made him climb all major mountains in Uganda and comb all the national parks. Mugisha was the main photographer for the photographic content of Uganda Wild Life Authority's (UWA) website launched in May 2012. Other than photography, Mugisha has published numerous travel stories and photo documentaries for international and national institutions.
For further information about Matthias Mugisha's work please visit his website at www.matmugisha.webs.com.
Photographer Tahir Carl Karmali is based in Nairobi, Kenya. Before he became a photographer he was a painter - his interest for photography emerged when he started to travel a lot, and he found that photography was convenient and very easy to pack.
“I began my career first as a food photographer, because of my interest in stage set up and I would also get free food. I slowly began to build my client portfolio beyond taking food photos. I have been shaping my commercial photography portfolio as a travel photographer.”
Karmali is an artist at the art organization Kuona Trust (kuonatrust.org) and he says his work is definitely influenced by the artists at the organization.
“As an artist at Kuona Trust, I am focusing on conceptual projects for photography and installation exhibitions. I use digital photography to create images composites out of found objects to make surreal imagery."
For further information about Tahir Carl Karmali's work please visit his website at www.tahirk.com.
Barbara Minishi is a professional photographer and art director from Nairobi, Kenya. In 2003, straight after graduating from university with a BA Communication degree, she discovered her passion for visual arts. She was inspired by reading old LIFE magazines and it was that, which made her realize she was attracted by the creative visual storytelling, that photography can offer.
She has been working and experimenting for 10 years, and has now established herself as a professional photographer and specializes in people, products and places. She especially loves taking her photos in all sorts of different locations and to travel all around. She believes that being out of her comfort zone in new environments, gives her the opportunity to create her art.
In 2010 Minishi joined a training course at One Fine Day Films Africa and took the Film Production Design Course. Since then she has been an art director on a feature film, short film and a music video. She is nominated for Best Art Director at the Africa Magic Movie Awards 2014, for her work on the feature film Nairobi Half Life. She has worked in art departments for the Danish feature film Kapringen (A Hijacking) and on commercials on TV.
Minishi prioritizes developing her visual skills and enjoys each challenge and opportunity, which being a photographer requires. She wants to further her education by joining a MFA Creative Practice Program, which is scheduled to start in the Summer 2014.
For further information about Barbara Minishi's work please visit her website at www.barbaraminishiphotography.com.
Fatoumata Diabaté was born in 1980 in Bamako. She studied in Bamako at the Centre de Formation Audiovisuel Promo- Femmes and later on, in 2002, at the Centre de Formation en Photographie. She has taken part in several group exhibitions and has had two solo exhibitions; one in Cahors and one in Switzerland. In 2005 she was awarded the Institut Français’ Prix Afrique en Création for her project Touaregs, en gestes et en mouvements, shown at the 6th Encounters of Bamako.
Fatoumata Diabaté explains her idea and thoughts behind the series Sutigi (The night is ours):
"It brings us back to youth and its frivolity and the desire of liberty.
This is a series I have started in Bamako and that I keep working on in other cities around the world. I’ve started this work during my training as we were asked to work on personal themes. I wanted to immortalize my youth through those modern outftits I like to wear at night, or even to go out in my neighbourhood with friends. Then, I’ve started taking pictures of my friends.
Young girls in Africa pay a lot of attention to clothes and style. A series of accessories (glasses, belts, shoes) are a part of what makes a trendy girl.
Through this series, I try to showcase a way of living, an importance to appearance that is specific to some young people. It’s like a testimony of my own time, as you can see when you pay attention to their ease in front of the camera. Us, young people, feel better at night than during the day. This intimate moment when you enjoy life, party in streets, cultural centers or night clubs."
For further information about Fatoumata Diabaté's work please visit her website at www.zarbophoto.free.fr/FatouSite
Élise Fitte-Duval is a Martinican born photographer but has lived in Senegal for many years. She graduated from the Ecole d’Arts Plastiques of Martinique and the Ecole Nationale Supeìrieure de Arts Deìcoratifs of Paris.
Fitte-Duval has participated in several group exhibitions all over Africa. Furthermore she was awarded best female African photographer 2011 by Casa Africa at Bamako’s photography Biennale, with her series Vivre les pieds dans l’eau. The series depicted the floods in Dakar.
Fitte-Duval has worked on the series Danser l'Espoir since 2003, where she followed contemporary dancers during their work sessions.
“It is about giving a view of the evolution of contemporary dance by staying close to the actors of this art, following the meeting between dancers from different countries around the continent. By including their choreographic work offstage it gives one an insight to the beginning of their art and shares the hope they have.”
For further information about Élise Fitte-Duval's work please visit her website at www.afrimagesonline.com.
Osborne Macharia is a self-taught commercial and advertising photographer born in Kenya. He has a Bachelor degree in architecture, but has worked as photographer for four years now.
“ I have been on this photography journey for nearly four years now and I have been privileged to work with some of the top local and international brands such as Coke, Guinness, Samsung, Kenya Airways, etc. I have also worked with international agencies from London and the US and that has given me hope that African photographers are slowly making an impact. When there’s a break from my commercial assignments, I love working on my own personal projects. I get to define and refine my work more and more.”
Macharia has been featured on websites such as African Digital Art and Hasselblad Bulletin, and he is also an Elite member of Best of Wedding Photography – this is an invite only website for the worlds best wedding photographers.
His work is inspired by US based photographers Joey L, Dean Bradshaw, Dave Hill and Jim Fiscus, and UK based photographers Alan Clarke and Todd Anthony.
“Our market is dynamic and young, especially for African photographers and the possibilities are endless. My desire is to see African photographers and artists compete on an international level and receive recognition. My dream is to one day have my work exhibited in Paris, London and New York, as well as scoop a Cannes Award one day.”
For further information about Osborne Macharia work please visit his website at www.k63studio.com