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.
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
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.