“Road to Success”
I captured this series of photographs during a journey to Cosrou, a village in the south of Ivory Coast. The title of this series is "Road to Success." As you can see, there is a man on a canoe holding a flower in his hand. The flower symbolizes his goal and success. After a long and adventurous journey, he achieves his objective in a beautiful place where everything is wonderful, and the water shimmers like gold.
Jean Luc Konkobo
Upon his return to Abidjan eight years ago, Perfect Black was fascinated by the modernity displayed by the Ivorian capital. As a true cultural crossroads, this bustling metropolis contrasted starkly with his hometown of Ouagadougou. A cosmopolitan city, rich in its diversity, it seemed to rival Western and Eastern megacities in many aspects. However, despite the city's splendor and the vibrancy of its inhabitants, the dazzling modernity of this gem also revealed a constant: a society that appeared to have forgotten a part of its cultural heritage. This realization shocked the artist, as he viewed cultural heritage as a crucial element for the coherent development of the continent. In this first photographic series, the artist retraces the journey of his awakening. The following eight photomontages narrate his trance—a trance experienced through constant questioning about the place of African heritage and African society in the contemporary world. A work of surrealistic fiction, "Transe" visually represents the artist's inquiries, which drive him to advocate for African heritage art.
Jorge Luis Alvarez
"The Way Beyond"
This project is part of a never-ending search for answers related to my identity and family ancestry. I create a universe in which I mix self-portraiture with an iconography through which I try to use a metaphorical language inspired by the rituals of faith and dances that induce the trance connecting us with the spiritual world, but also highlighting key elements within these cultures, many of which have as their backbone the love and respect for nature as well as for the ancestors. This project is fueled by my interpretation of family stories, of my own dreams, but also inspired by what I’ve read in some stories from African cosmogony which have shaped the way knowledge and wisdom are shared in certain cultures through oral tradition. Self-portrait is a recurrent tool that has helped me throughout the creative process to connect directly with the story I want to tell, not only from the aesthetic point of view, but it also makes me an active participant of it. The intense dark tones on my images do not seek to emphasize my ethnocultural background but just to hide what I don’t want to be seen. Like secrets that are not meant to be revealed, as well as the invisible, but also leading the viewer to focus just on the very tiny details I want the attention upon, where frequently what you see is not what you think it is. The conception process is rather a kind of “journey” where every single piece I create is part of a puzzle which I hope one day would lead me to beginning to understand, accept, adapt as well as respect both who I am and where I come from, in order to better assimilate the unknown.
Jorge López Muñoz
“The King (Fandom project)”
Fandom is a new documentary photography personal project, which studies the fan phenomenon as a cultural and social manifestation, analyzing the popular iconography of the musical medium and its influence on our history, contemporary life and collective behavior. A project that attempts to reflect both who we were, are, and what we dream of. The fanatical admiration towards an idol is understood as the visualization in another person of the values and attributes that are desired for oneself. There is a search for identity and the meaning of life. The conformation of idols, halfway between the perception of reality and the construction of the desires of individuals, is highly influenced by the content and dynamics of the media. A large part of the people admired by citizens are characters created or promoted by the mass media. Tribute bands or artists mimic the songs and style of a certain singer, such as the so-called "imitators" of Elvis Presley (King of Rock) or Michael Jackson (King of Pop). In the world of performing arts, the celebration of tributes is very common, especially in the United States, where special importance is given to cinema and popular music. An army of copies helps us understand the original. There is an obsessive nature to the culture of fame and pop icons. But, what are the values on which these media idols are based? To what extent are they part of daily life and the horizon of citizen aspirations? The fan phenomenon is ageless, but it has undergone a mutation parallel to technological advances. From venerating intangible icons to exchanging characters directly with the idol in question. Has the life of a fan changed so much? Has the magic been lost?
Lago Bouabré Aubin
“The world of albinos”
Albinism in Africa raises many questions. Indeed, in our society, being born albino is often seen as a "curse," leading to judgment, neglect, and marginalization of these exceptional individuals. Why does such an attitude persist? The project "THE WORLD OF ALBINOS" aims, on one hand, to remind us that just as we do not choose our race, we do not choose to be born albino either. On the other hand, its purpose is to raise awareness and change the perception of these "different" people due to their appearance, who, deep down, are similar to everyone else and rightfully belong in society. "I WAS BORN ALBINO, I AM PROUD OF MY UNIQUENESS, I HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIFE, I AM NOT AN ANIMAL FOR SACRIFICE."
“All for One”
From a general perspective, everyone needs art therapy. In the Beninese tradition, the environment is carefully considered, and the elements are revered as humans engage with and become adept at these elements. I capture images of the various "little gods" and human bodies, superimposing them to create a composite form. It was through this work that I became aware of the environmental degradation caused by human beings, such as climate change resulting from our ever-increasing needs. We use phones, require clothing, and travel, disrupting the natural elements and often forgetting to respect our environment. If photography serves as a tool for personal healing, it's because I utilized this medium to reconnect with my culture. This tool helped me rediscover my own story and, in turn, allowed me to rebuild connections with others. It is through this form of self-care that anyone can use to raise global awareness—a medium that promotes communication for all, from children to the elderly. Through my photos, I urge all individuals to superimpose themselves on the elements as a means of healing, which is why I consider my photography to be therapeutic. The selection I present here serves to explain to the general public my approach in contributing to a greater appreciation of the unique relationship between humanity and nature.
“The war dance at the Ebrié generations festival”
The Ebrié generations festival is an annual celebration deeply rooted in the culture of the Ebrié people in Côte d'Ivoire. This festival is an opportunity to pass on knowledge, traditions, and values to new generations while honoring the ancestors. At the heart of this celebration is the war dance, an essential element that embodies the strength, courage, and martial heritage of the Ebrié people. The war dance is an impressive spectacle that transports spectators back to the glorious past of the Ebrié people as proud and fearless warriors. Dancers wear traditional costumes like feather headdresses, carved masks, and beaded ornaments, their bodies coated in natural pigments, creating an appearance that is both intimidating and majestic. Every movement is calculated, every gesture charged with meaning. This dance tells the story of the bravery of these warriors in past battles, mimicking battle movements, brandishing spears and shields, while executing acrobatic leaps and synchronized steps. The accompanying music blends the rhythms of drums, xylophones, and traditional string instruments. During the Ebrié generations festival, the war dance symbolizes the transmission of martial skills and cultural heritage to younger generations. Elders teach the younger generations the movements, songs, and stories, perpetuating the tradition. Young dancers also learn values of respect, unity, and discipline through this practice. The war dance reinforces the sense of identity and pride of the Ebrié people, reminding them of their rich history and resilience in the face of challenges. It embodies their determination to preserve their culture and heritage. However, some view it as folkloric, raising questions about the identity of traditional African peoples, the influence of Western cultures and religions, and the impact of colonial legacies on cultural repression.
“Vices & virtues”
"Vices & Virtues" is a photographic project that explores the complexities of human nature through a series of surrealist portraits. The project is inspired by the teachings of the Catholic Church on the seven deadly sins - lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. These vices are often seen as undesirable qualities, but this project aims to challenge this perception and question what we consider to be good and bad. The project features two main characters, portrayed in different situations that embody each of the seven deadly sins. There are two photographs for each sin, making a total of fourteen portraits. The portraits are surreal and dreamlike, with elements of fantasy and darkness. Each image is carefully crafted to convey the unique emotions and attitudes associated with each of the sins. The project is not just a visual exploration of the seven deadly sins, but also a journey of self-discovery and introspection. The series encourages viewers to reflect on their own virtues and vices and to question their beliefs about what is right and wrong. It is a call to action to look inward and to embrace our full humanity, both good and bad. The concept of the seven deadly sins has a long history in Western culture, dating back to early Christianity. The concept was popularized by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri in his masterpiece "The Divine Comedy," where the sins are portrayed as the different circles of hell. Over the centuries, the seven deadly sins have been depicted in various forms of art, including paintings, literature, and film. "Vices & Virtues" continues this tradition, exploring the sins in a modern and unique way through photography. The series also touches on the concept of tolerance, recognizing that each person is different and has their own unique set of virtues and vices. It is a reminder that we are all flawed and that it is okay to accept our imperfections. The project encourages viewers to embrace the complexity of the human experience and to find compassion for themselves and others.
“A Road We All Take”
This collection delves into the exploitative and predatory nature of social institutions within our current Zambian society. The concept of labor and the identity of a laborer hold particular significance for me, especially in today's context. There is minimal protection for those in positions where they provide labor, as they are often expected to set aside their personal desires, needs, and joys, operating in a nearly mechanized state solely to fulfill the demands of an institution that shows no regard for their individuality. By drawing an analogy to marriage, I aim to explore this dynamic, which not only manifests in workplaces but also permeates intimate relationships among lovers, friends, and families, further exacerbating the issue.
Marta Contreras Simó
"Lost in connection"
Mekbib Tadesse's artistic project centers on the internet, which has become an echo chamber where exposure to information is limited by individual interests and spatial environment. The residency offers him a chance to explore diverse ideas and frameworks. Technology, particularly social media, meant to enhance connections, has paradoxically led to disconnection. He observes the accumulation of thousands of 'friends,' but questions how many can truly be known. The online community meant to unite people has driven them apart, reinforcing views in a feedback loop. Tolerance, compromise, and acceptance of differences are manipulated by algorithms, altering truth and reality based on online behavior. While the internet offers freedom of expression, the online discourse in Ethiopia differs from that abroad, making it an intriguing study. This project explores how technology, especially social media, distorts self and community understanding. It delves into the morphing identity caused by digital mediation, the formation of (dis)unified online communities, and their impact on offline interactions. Ethiopia's political context amplifies online divides, impacting various aspects of life. Bridging the information gap between rural and urban areas is complex, especially when adapting Western technology in developing countries. Freedom carries responsibility, as unchecked expression can spread hatred. Artistic expression is a powerful medium for Mekbib to explore and respond to these issues. The Cite Internationale des Arts Residency will provide an uninterrupted atmosphere for creative flow, facilitating the completion of this project.
“ How did we get to this point ?” Is the question that I kept asking myself when I first saw, years ago, news and reports about the Southern part of my home country, Madagascar, being under the process of desertification, and its population facing unprecedented levels of climate vulnerability and food insecurity. Since then, persistent drought and sandstorms have resulted in years of poor harvests. And, while food prices continue to rise, families have run out of what remained of their food stock, and many cannot afford what’s at the market. Originally, the word “Kere” is the word used locally for “hunger gap” -the period before the first harvest when grain from the previous harvest may run out. The people of Southern Madagascar, who have lived on subsistence agriculture for centuries, are used to coping with the hunger gap type of “Kere” on a yearly basis for a relatively short period of time. Because of climate change, rising temperatures, scarcity of rain and water, “Kere” is now becoming synonymous with famine. « Can we do something to face this ?” I then wondered because we cannot surrender. I started to look, and found the beginning of an answer, hope. I found people fighting to restore the soil and increase its fertility and provide a yield of crops adequate for the new climate conditions in the region. This project aims to document the challenges faced in the South of Madagascar, and the work of people and organizations to develop new agricultural solutions for the area. Most importantly, this project is about vulnerable yet strong people oscillating between despair and hope trying to find resilience in the most challenging battle they have ever faced.
“Look via the Windows of my Mind”
In this self-portrait project, I'm trying to overcome my limitations through metaphorical approaches. I felt myself an essential part of this story – I couldn't remain invisible. This is a reality that includes my own reality mixed within it. In these images, I'm the central character, but I’m not the subject. The environment and situation in which I appear is the main element of the message of these pictures. E.g. climate change, my philosophy, and social issues. When the waters of the Teesta River were blocked by India, I found myself inside a Char. My dead body woke up as if I was back on earth again. I was being buried again and again. Every year I wake up and float again. When India releases water, the Teesta River and its surroundings are swept away by the floodwaters and when India retains water, the river Teesta dries up and becomes almost a dead river, like the desert. Here I’ve highlighted the untold brutal reality of the people of North Bengal, Bangladesh. By this ongoing self-portraiture and self-observation project since 2020; I've tried to cover social, psychological, humanitarian, and human-race issues with my own thoughts, about this world and mankind. This world is full of violence-envy-hatred-arrogance-quarrel-fights-wars, and racism-discrimination. Is it important to get money-dignity-name-fame by giving up ethics and humanity? Is it significant to be modern/ gentleman? I dream of being a shepherd-farmer, getting up in the early morning to cultivate the land, taking cows-goats to the field. If your heart isn't clear like water, isn't it all in vain? Life means going back to the Soil, doesn't it? I wanted to smell the soil/earth. I tried to discover new ways to know myself and in addition to this, I have tried to draw attention to the neglected or avoided crises-problems of our world and mankind in a new way.
“Layenne community” It was in Senegal, on the Cape Verde peninsula and within the Lebou society that Seydina Limamou Lahi declared himself to be the messenger of God (the Mahdi) in 1883 and founded the brotherhood. Since then, every year, a pilgrimage takes place in Dakar and gathers thousands of pilgrims in the name of their faith to pray for two days and remember what is commonly called "The Call" of this great figure of Islam in Senegal. This is a time for meditation, prayer and solidarity. Among the founding principles, religious songs are characteristic of the community. Moreover, among the Layennes, women occupy a place as important as that of men and complete their faith journey standing in front of them. They are also opposed to the caste principle, and once a year they organise a collective wedding ceremony for hundreds of couples. Apart from economic reasons, it is above all an opportunity to circumvent the prohibition of union dictated by certain traditional castes. While a certain inter-religious mistrust has been emerging in recent years in the Western world, a better understanding of Islam would undoubtedly make it possible to live better with its followers, whose growing numbers around the world show that we will have to reasonably reconcile our Christian aspirations with their religious precepts. The example of the Layenne community which has experienced a real revival since the 1990s, allows us to observe its way of reinventing itself and adapting to traditional requirements while considering the evolution of society. It thus participates in the "development of a new Senegalese Islam".
Natnael Ashebir Mekonnen
“Where We Are”
Where We Are My current body of work is related to exploring identity and history. The visual has photography, archive images, text, and digital drawings to create the visual narration. The visuals contain digital collages created using various images that thought cultural heritage, memory, our existence, and so on become a gate looking, questioning, discovering, and rediscovering who I am to contemplate the layers of identity and history. Memory is the means to enable me to link up with the past that portrays the journeys of Mankind, and archival images are a means to bind us to one another in connecting us to the past, keeping us intact to the present. I also consider my works as a form of unorthodox archives that appeal to a kind of understanding of myself. I envision all these attempts as a way of dealing with and engaging the need to question where we are as an individual, a community, a society, a country, a continent, and as part of humanity in general.
“What Was Dead Was Never Dead ”
“What Was Dead Was Never Dead ” What Was Dead Was Never Dead is an ongoing project that examines the universal belief in reincarnation and posthumous existence of dead relatives. in Nigeria, people believe that human effort and achievement do not end with death on the earthly plane. This cosmological belief is articulated in a lot of different origin stories, many of which are built around individuals and archetypes in ghost land and the world is an endless loop of the living and dead, coming and going. for instance, among the Yoruba people, the universe is conceived as a three-storied structure: heaven world above, earth world, and the under-earth world below it. the heaven world above is the home of the father god, the earth world is the home of humankind [including animal-kind, trees etc.], and the under-earth world is the abode of the ancestors. When a child is born, the child is never named, until the gods are consulted, to reveal who amongst the ancestors have come to live again on earth world. Hence, those who are dead, are never dead. In this body of work, I try to capture the living-dead, by examining intimate family stories - to exhume memories, popular myths, and taboos surrounding death, reincarnation, and the universal belief in the afterlife.
Who am I, and what is my relationship with my ecosystem? As humans, we are inherently social creatures, embarking on an ongoing journey to find balance and meaning within the space we commonly refer to as our ecosystem. This environment provides the canvas upon which we foster and cultivate interactions, whether as a collective or as individuals. These interactions span a spectrum, encompassing socio-political, cultural, and economic dimensions. Furthermore, these exchanges can manifest on micro or macro scales, with individuals or groups forging connections at the familial/local level or on a global stage. Understanding human nature reveals that, driven by social inclinations and political dynamics, we are constantly compelled to seek recognition and, above all, ensure our survival. An individual's identity often takes shape early in life, influenced by factors such as genetics, gender, geography, and more. Given the vastness of the identity concept, this project aims to explore the notion of 'self-perceived identity' in contrast to 'imposed identity.' In most cultural contexts, 'imposed identity' is an inescapable reality dictated by societal norms—unwritten codes of conduct considered acceptable within a given group or society. The consequences of challenging or rejecting such identities can be profound, often leaving individuals with a sense of marginalization and overwhelming rejection.
From the time he moved to Grand-Bassam, he took an interest in the many environmental challenges that exist there. Discussions on the issue with the inhabitants of the village as well as with specialized NGOs opened his eyes to the complexity and depth of the problem. Between the waste that arrives from the Atlantic Ocean and that dumped by the population for lack of alternatives, the surrounding nature bears the after-effects of an exacerbated human impact. In the “Redemption” series, objects found on beaches are the raw material. Nuits Balnéaires collects objects along the coast, sculpts forms, and dresses them up, as if to show solidarity with a distressed nature.
In his series "The Granite Quarry," Mohamed Ouedraogo explores a place that doesn't align with our modern world's conception: a stone quarry in the western outskirts of Ouagadougou, where men, women, and children engage in heavy and perilous labor to earn only 1,000 CFA francs per day, which is approximately 1.60 CHF. "Here, work and time do not hold the same value as elsewhere," states the photographer. Workers are constantly at risk of injuries and breathe air filled with the smoke of burning tires and crushed granite dust. Some of them wear clothing bearing logos and brands from the contemporary capitalist economy. The contrast is painfully ironic but perfectly symbolizes the stark divide between the rich and the poor in a globalized society.
Based on the ancient ritual surrounding the Nyiragongo volcano, Mawe 2022 explores new forms of memory and integration of indigenous knowledge and mythology in an urban context. At the heart of the residency process is the sense of Ejo-Lobi temporality, in which the future of the past and the past of the future converge. This multidimensional understanding of time offers a paradigm that aligns with local and indigenous mythologies and practices. It is a modality that helps preserve the intergenerational continuity of indigenous cultures and prepares the next generation for the challenges they are already facing in a globalized world. Through a wake-up ritual, Nyabhingi, the goddess of abundance, emerges from Liangombe and breathes out the Mazuku. She must heal Goma from destruction and restore ecological balance. With her warriors, they witness the devastation caused by industrial arrogance that has desecrated the land, invoking the wrath of Lingombe, the spirit of discipline that corrects all transgressions. Lingombe spews fire and Mahindule (lava) to warn the people of their transgressions.
“The Spirit Series”
The Spirit Series was propelled by the Covid 19 pandemic and is an invitation into other worlds and periods of time, leaning into something far larger than myself. The series examines mental health, memory, and spirituality by thinking through form and permeability as a therapeutic exercise in surrender. I was attempting to make way for another voice when I realized something else. I came to understand that I was not the first person in my lineage, even in the world, to experience adversity. During the pandemic, I turned to creativity as a way of finding solace from my hopelessness and overwhelming exhaustion. I started seeking refuge in creativity, and through the depths of darkness that nearly consumed me, I felt the body of work offered a beacon of light and hope. By leaning on the intangible and an unshakeable awareness, creating art became a matter of survival; a showing up. The work, in turn, evolved into a dialogue with my consciousness, continuously reassuring me that it was okay to ponder the purpose of pain and that I was not alone.
MALAGASY collects photographs of Madagascar, my country of origin where I currently live. Madagascar, a large island in the Indian Ocean, the fifth largest island in the world, is a paradox for economists and sociologists. The country is rich in every way, under and on its soil. Its land is fertile, its biodiversity is unique in the world and its maritime space is immense. Apart from a few political crises that have occurred since France returned to its independence in 1960, Madagascar has never experienced a civil war or an uncontrollable epidemic that could have severely destabilized the country. And yet Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. The vast majority of Malagasy people live on less than one euro per day. It is difficult to judge the causes of this situation. Foreign multinationals? The incompetence of the leaders? Corruption? Religious invasion? Since 2004, I have been photographing the Malagasy people. Who are they? What does it mean to be Malagasy in the 21st century? How do the Malagasy currently fit into this world? Indus, the Malagasy, is both beautiful and sad. Resilient and reliable. Courageous and timorous. MALAGASY proposes a social and intimate portrait of the people of Madagascar. I chose these photographs, not because they could correspond to the idea that one also hopes for a country like this one: the end of the world, the exoticism, the sun, the joy of living of the inhabitants in spite of scandalous poverty; but because they can translate a state of mind, my state of mind at this moment when I begin to understand what means to be Malagasy. Madagascar seems to me fascinating but incomprehensible. As the writer Johary Ravaloson said, “In Madagascar, reality often exceeds fiction.
“Say Mon Dawo II (Till We Return II)”
Say Mon Dawo II, is a multi-mediated series of self-portraits constructed in dialogue with collected fabric, expressing a moment in which the artist revisits and reconstructs her Saudi Arabian Nigerian identity. The series reconstructs a long history of Hausa migration to Saudi Arabia due to colonial impact and the desire to protect their Islamic identity. The artist reconfigures musical and linguistic elements as well as fabrics and materials, and traces of past records into a layered personal collage that embodies characters from various phases of the migratory assimilation. This work was created during the Intermix Residency, which was supported and facilitated by Ministry of Culture, Visual Art Commission, Fashion Commission and Athr Gallery.
“Hairchitecture is an imaginarium”
Hairchitecture is an imaginarium: a series of images exploring the beauty and possibilities of natural hair. The photo series explores hair as a medium of spiritual expression and ancestral connection, as well as a tool to individual expression. In collaboration with hair artist Stacy Gray, Godbody taps into an endless variation of textures and improvised hair structures with the elegant simplicity of the silhouette. Each silhouette becomes a vector of mystery and mythic references. Through these examinations, Godbody documents the current moment with novel postures evoking old tales. Embedding each image with a touch of surrealism, he creates a universe of fantastical creatures, gods, goddesses, spirits, and souls. We see that the embrace of new organic structures and natural styles taking place among young diasporans is a shift nothing short of seismic. Hairchitecture serves as a reminder that we are currently experiencing a new moment in the centuries-long effort to subvert antiquated notions of power, beauty, and respect.
The family archive is the first history book that gives us a sense of who we are or where we belong. We’re taught that the foundation of our identity is in our ancestry, in our names, and familial relations. What does it mean when this identity is filtered through people’s memories? How do we begin to have conversations with ourselves and with our ancestors while also holding each other accountable for the ways in which we’ve allowed the violence of coloniality to become a part of our identity. Memory is the narrator and though it is often unreliable, memory is the author of the stories that become us, who we are, who were and who will become. Memory curates the archive and informs the viewpoint. Memory: no matter whose voice it assumes, decides what gets to be seen and unseen and thus it must be interrogated. What informs memory? Which parts of my personal history are accurate? What is accurate? What part of history is fact and what part is fiction? Where do these two ideas intersect? Umbedesho wamathambo is a personal and introspective look at my family’s own archive as well as its implications on me and the person I am becoming. The work uses archival images, short stories, text and photography to re-imagine my family’s archive as seen through my own experiences and position within the family. The work looks at themes around identity, religion, the fleeting sense of what it means to belong and notions of home and home making.
The "Coroas" series is a project that integrates the Sizígia (syzygies) project, where I propose an encounter between technique and poetry through aerial photography in the areas of Todos-os-Santos Bay, a coastal region of Bahia marked by many cultural and historical events. Sizígias are moments of connection in which the sea, soil and rivers build new geographical markings, or even where space-time reacts to the movement of the cosmos to produce reliefs and maps. It is in the Sizígias that where landscapes are transmuted and where we perceive everyday life and its constant capacity for creation. In the "Coroas" series, this abstraction game reveals to us the presence of a sophisticated fishing technology. Known as "Pesqueiros", the engineering of these areas is made using an ancestral knowledge of fishing. The wooden circles are structured by the connection with the low and high tides of the sea and reveal the possibility of understanding fishing not as a means of exploration and extraction of natural resources, but as a form of relationship between humans and non-humans. My goal with the construction of these landscapes is, through the imagination, the game of movements that the sea provides to human practices when these two forms of life come to inhabit the same plane of experience. In its radical limit, the "pesqueiros" allow us to fable other options for the impasses brought by the present when we discuss the ways of knowledge, inhabiting and existing.
Xaadim Bamba Mbow
He returned from his journey, rich as a pauper and ignorant as an encyclopedia. His numerous travels allowed him to witness the extraordinary diversity of the world. He saw peoples who prayed to Allah, others to Yahweh, others to Christ, and still others to Krishna, and so on. He even saw people who did not pray. "Peoples without God," he thought. He observed that in certain regions of the world, men dressed as women, and women as men. Some didn't even bother to dress. "The world has gone mad," he whispered. His journey indeed helped him understand that the best knowledge is that acquired through lived experience. The journey became a necessity. Physical journey, intellectual journey, spiritual journey, cultural journey. One just must go. Tukki* is going towards others to discover oneself. Stepping out of one's comfort zone for different experiences. Tukki to understand, to understand the world, to understand others, and to know one's limits. Finally, the traveler returned home not different in his faith, but in his perspective of the world. His wanderings made him even wiser. The world became more beautiful but less valuable. He realized that traveling was answering the call of destiny. Some travel to escape, others to conquer, and the wisest to seek. He had initially set out to discover the world but ultimately returned with a full understanding of himself.
"Superficial" is a thought-provoking series that delves into a question that I have been asking myself for the past few months: Why do we find ourselves in a generation plagued by low self-esteem? The cosmetic surgery industry has seen a significant boom in Africa over the years. What used to be a luxury has now become as commonplace as taking a simple painkiller. However, what troubles the artist is the prevalence of unlicensed individuals who hold the fate of innocent lives in their hands. I chose Grand-Bassam as the setting, the first capital of Ivory Coast and historically known as the first slavery coast in the country. It serves as a poignant reminder of how bodies were once exchanged for money and freedom, a painful history that still echoes in contemporary issues. This project follows the journey of the beautiful women who struggle to find contentment with their inner self and body. They seek external solutions to obtain the physique they desire so much.
Abdoul Razack Koara