In Search of Another Africa: A Photographic Essay

Some months back, we asked French artist and photographer Florent Meng, if he would join us in a photographic conversation. A visual essay of sorts, about contemporary photography through the view finder of African photographers. That was the starting point, but the idea sat for awhile until we instinctively just began to converse with pictures. It was simple to share a dialogue where one would send a photo or several photos and the other would reply in kind.

Today we share with you our conversation and take this time to introduce you to some of Africa’s leading artistic and photographic talent, acclaimed and up-and-coming, amateur and professional, based both on and off the continent, from all four corners to its interior.

This visual journey showcases situations and scenarios that have captivated their documentarians. Through their view finders, we see their depiction of the varied nuances, layers and complexities of daily living, stories that exist between art and journalism. We hope in this realm, that you too might begin to see what we sought, another Africa.

David Goldblatt

Alioune Bâ

Pierrot Men

Guy Tillim

Frid Armel Louzala

Jodi Bieber

Pieter Hugo

Pascale Marthine Tayou

Garth Walker

Ray Daniels Okeugo

Yo-Yo Gonthier

David Southwood

Mikhael Subotzky

Philip Kwame Apagya

Zwelethu Mthethwa

David Goldblatt

Boubacar Touré Mandémory

Soavina Ramaroson

Amaize Ojeikere

Charles Okereke

Ray Daniels Okeugo

Uche Okpa-Iroha

Sabelo Mlangeni

David Goldblatt

Nabil Boutros

Ray Daniels Okeugo

Michael Tsegaye

Mário Macilau

Emeka Okereke

Francis "Nii Obodai" Provencal

Michael Tsegaye

Malik Nejmi


In Order of Appearance

David Goldblatt (b. Randfontein, South Africa, 1930) Monument to Karel Landman, Voortrekker Leader, De Kol, Eastern Cape April 10, 1993

Alioune Bâ (b. Mali 1959) Vue au travers d’une ouverture ronde. Djenné 1997

Pierrot Men (b. Midongy-du-Sud, Madagascar, 1954)  Alakamisy fianarantsoa, 2007

Guy Tillim (b.  South Africa 1962) Mai-Mai Militia Camp near Ben, Democratic Republic of Congo 2002

Frid Armel Louzala (b. Brazzaville, Congo, 1977) Republic of Congo: Maison Cassées [Broken Homes] Series

Jo Ractliffe ((b. Cape Town, South Africa, 1961) Mural in an abandoned schoolhouse, Ompapa. 2010

Jodi Bieber (b. Johannesburg, South Africa 1966) Between Dogs and Wolves

Pieter Hugo (b. South Africa, 1976) Messina / Mussina

Pascale Marthine Tayou (b. Yaoundé, Cameroon, 1967) From the Pigozzi Collection

Garth Walker (b. Johannesburg, South Africa, ) Journey To Abyssinia, Aksum, Ethiopia

Ray Daniels Okeugo (b. Aba, Nigeria, 1980) A…Dakar, Invisible Borders Series, 2010

Yo-Yo Gonthier (b.  Niamey, Niger, 1974) Luna Parc, Bamako, Mali 2007

David Southwood (b. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 1971) Studio Interiors Series, 2001

Mikhael Subotzky (b. Cape Town, South Africa, 1981) Beaufort West, 2007

Philip Kwame Apagya (b. Sekondi, Ghana, 1958) No Place Like Home, 1996

Zwelethu Mthethwa (b. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 1960)

David Goldblatt (b. Randfontein, South Africa, 1930)  The Galada Family, 2001

Boubacar Touré Mandémory (b. Dakar, Senegal, 1956) Emigration Clandéstine, Galerie du malheur [Gallery of Misfortune], 2008

Soavina Ramaroson (b.  Antananarivo, Madagascar, 1977) Out of Focus, école d’art au village, 2010

Amaize Ojeikere (b. Lagos, Nigeria, 1966) Untitled, Images from Kumasi, Invisible Borders Series, 2010

Charles Okereke (b. Nigeria, 1966) Bobo Dioulasso 026, Invisible Border Series , 2010

Ray Daniels Okeugo (b. Aba, Nigeria, 1980) Gbogbo Poster, Invisible Borders Series, 2010

Uche Okpa-Iroha (b. Enugu, Nigeria, 1972) Finding Rest, Invisible Borders Series, 2010

Sabelo Mlangeni (b.Driefontein, South Africa, 1980) Half past 10am, 2011

David Goldblatt (b. Randfontein, South Africa, 1930)

Nabil Boutros (b. Cairo, Egypt, 1954) Cairo of the Night | Egyptian Portraits, Bab el-Futuh, Cairo, 1991

Ray Daniels Okeugo (b. Aba, Nigeria, 1980) Quoran Sisters, Cotonu , Invisible Borders Series, 2010

Michael Tsegaye (b.  Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1975) Taxi Series

Emeka Okereke (b.  Nigeria, 1980)  White Cross, Near Agatogbo, Invisible Borders Series, 2010

Mário Macilau (b. Maputo, Mozambique, 1984) From the Series,The Zionist, Mozambique, 2010

Francis “Nii Obodai” Provencal (b. Accra, Ghana, 1963) Who Knows Tomorrow, 2009

Michael Tsegaye (b.  Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1975) Ankober, Mystic, 8

Malik Nejmi (b. Orléans, French-Moroccan, 1973)  El maghreb (serie 1)



Florent Meng (b. 1982, Paris) lives and works in Paris and Geneva, the later where he recently completed a Masters Degree at Haute École d’Art et Design. In his photography he practices a reflective modesty,  instinctively applying a form of respectful distance if you will between himself and his subjects, studying  and documenting them from their periphery. It is from this point of view that he hopes to frame those finite and constrained moments which express the many layers of complexity and tension present in modern day living.

He recently published his first book titled, Preambule, Paragrah H.  A look at modern day Lebanon, a conscious tourism that applies art to allude to the tensions  presented through young love and romance in a nation grappling to emmancipate itself from its own history and factionalism, the challenge to find a unifying identity.

He is represented by Studio Sandra Recio, Geneva.


All images courtesy of the respective artist. All rights reserved.




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