WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS 2010
a woman I intend to give my contribution to celebrate March 8th, the International
Women's day supporting the International campaign for the Nobel Peace 2011 for
African Women (you can sign in the site: www.noppaw.org)
As a woman photographer I send to WIPI this report about African women photographer’s
participation in 8th African Meeting of Photography in Bamako, Mali.
them a future of plenty, peace and tolerance, I welcome African women photographers
as important messengers of their culture. Their works give voice, dignity and
empowerment to all the African women and women of the world.
Pulga, Charter Member WIPI
women photographer’s participation in 8th edition of “Les Rencontres
Africaines de la Photographie” (African Meeting of Photography), in Bamako,
8th edition of “Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie”, organized
by La Maison Africaine de la Photographie (www.fotoafrica.org)
was held in Bamako, Mali, November 7th to December 7th 2009. The meeting, a production
of the Ministry of Culture of Mali and of Culturesfrance, with Michket Krifa and
Laura Serani as artistic directors and Samuel Sidibè as general delegate
for the event, for one month enlightened the capital of Mali.
topic of this year’s edition was “The Borders”. This actual
subject, defined by the organizers "a concept that is eminently current and
paradoxical in a world where, on the one hand, we proclaim and practice the disappearance
of political and economic borders and, on the other, erect walls to protect them”
has been represented in various aspects by the artists, including issues and consequences
of cross-border movements.
Many exhibits have been shown in important places
and working-class areas of Bamako: the National Museum, the Palace of Culture,
the District Museum, and the National Institute of Arts Gallery (INA). Workshops,
debates, interactive projects and screenings had provided a lot of opportunities
the Panafrican Exhibit, a panorama of contemporary creativity in Africa, forty
photographers coming from twenty African countries had shown their works and thirteen
video artists gave their interpretations and representations of borders.
exhibitions were monographic, focusing on artists and showing their unique visions
of borders such as in the pictures of Patrizia Guerresi Maimouna
(from Italy) and Angele Etoundi Essamba
fact, also in this edition the women photographers’ presence was massive,
as a result of their empowerment in different fields in Africa.
the 6th edition, where about 30% of the pictures exposed were from women, many
women photographers obtained important rewards, such as Notsikelelo
Veleko who participated in the 7th edition (2007). Valeko,
born in 1977, lives and works in Johannesburg. In the last couple of years, Lolo
(her nickname) has been gathering a great deal of attention with her striking
work entitled ” Beauty is in the eyes of a beholder” and now her pictures
are exhibited in European, African and Asian famous Galleries.
photographers who showcased their pictures in the Exhibitions:
Etoundi Essamba (www.essamba.art).
Native of Douala, Cameroon, she lives and works in Amsterdam where she learned
photography at the Dutch School for Professional Photography. The varied cultural
environments in which the artist has evolved profoundly influenced her view of
the world, largely dominated by her African roots. Her work combines the grace
of stylized lines echoing the female body. Women in general and black women in
particular are the key element in her approach. Since 1985 Angèle obtained
international recognition with exhibitions all over the world in the Netherlands,
Cameroon, South Africa, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania, Algeria Spain, Italy, France,
Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Cuba, Mexico and U.S.A.
Guerresi Maïmouna, who converted to Mouridism, a Sufi tendency
of Islam, very popular in Senegal, is an Italian photographer, sculptress and
video maker. Her pictures show the relationship between women and society and
their marginal role. The women she represents are often inspired by universal
myths and their bodies appears mystic and sacre. In the ten pictures exposed in
the National Museum of Mali, some are self-portaits or pictures taken of her two
daughters. Patrizia says that, thanks to her faith in Mouridism, that is a real
African religion, she could have a different look on Africa. She had important
exhibits in Biennale in Venice (Italy) and in Documenta in Kassel (Germany), in
Spain and USA.
south African Jodi Bieber (www.jodibieber.com),
is the winner of the “Prix de le l'Union Europeene” at the Recontres
de Bamako of this edition. Since 1996 she is working for magazines such as New
York Times, Geo and Sunday Times and for non-profit organizations like MSF on
special projects for booklets and exhibitions. She obtained different prizes from
World Presse Photo and in 2009 the 1st Prize of POYi for the portraits. Her most
recent exhibition is “Real Beauty”.
a French photographer of Egyptian origin, born in Cairo in 1976, whose subjects
are particularly women from Africa and Middle East. She lives in New York since
Tunisians Lilia Benzid
and Faten Gaddes.
Lilia, born in 1961, Charter Member of “Les Rencontres Photographiques de
Gar el Meth“, lives and works in Tunis. Her pictures are focused on daily
life and are inspired by her personal experience, divided into West and East (her
mother is german). Also Faten, aged 36, was born and lives Tunis and is Member
of “Les Rencontres Photographiques de Gar el Meth“. She is architect
and photographer and participates to many international exhibitions in Africa
V. Jackson (www.avjphotography.com)
, born in 1977 in South Africa, studied in Berlin and actually lives between South
Africa and USA. She exposed in the “Mali National Museum” as a Diaspora
photographer. The subject of her pictures are the human condition and a deep research
about human community in this era of globalisation. Her work has been exhibited
born in Durban, South Africa, in 1972,won the Casa Africa award for best female
photographer and a Fondation Blachère award in this edition of Les Rencontres
de Bamako. She also received a Fanny Ann Eddy accolade from IRN-Africa for her
outstanding contributions in the study of sexuality in Africa, at the Genders
& Sexualities in Africa Conference held in Syracuse, New York.
photographer of Lybian origin living in Canada. In her pictures she investigates
the two cultures she belongs to: the so-called Western culture and her Muslim
Moroccan, born in 1966, is an artist graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in
Paris in 1995. Majida stages fashion shows as political performances by linking
Western fashion to Islamic codes of dress and behaviour. Since 1999 shows have
been staged at the Centre George Pompidou, the Kunstmuseum of Lucerne (Switzerland)
and the Guggenheim Museum Soho, in New York.
el Nemr, who participated also in the 7th edition, was
born in 1974 in Egypt. After having studied Photojournalism and Advertising at
the American University in Cairo, she starts to exhibit her pictures all over
the world, such as in Egypt, Denmark, Finland, Japan, and so on. She won important
prizes, as the the Prize “Seydou Keita” (the most important Malian
photographer, recently deceased).
an Algerian woman, aged 47, born in Paris and living in London. Her pictures have
been exposed in U.S.A., in different countries of Middle East, in the Biennale
of Venice (Italy), in Tate Britain (London), in Photo Espana and Centre Pompidou
(Paris), and so on.
Jemal Siala, Tunisian, born in 1973 in Paris, photographer and
teacher of plastic arts in the “Institut des Beux Art” in Tunis, participates
to many exhibits in Tunisia, France, Germany, Spain and Belgium.
rights reserved for permission to repirnt, contact Patrizia Pulga
is a WIPI Charter Member
contributions by Patrizia include:
ABOUT WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS CURRENTLY ACTIVE IN ITALY, EUROPE AND THE MEDITERRANEAN
the Women Photographers of Africa (2006)
Plachy/Blanca Berlin Gallery/Spain (2008)
ON FEMALE" at Orvieto Fotografia (2009)
visited the countries of North Africa: Tunisia, Algeria (in particularly Sahrawi
Refuges Camps), Lybia and Egypt. I have known a lot of African Women particularly
in Italy, where they arrived as immigrates in the late 80s.
slowly in our towns, in our private lives from Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory
Coast, Morocco and so on. Curious, I started to take pictures to these new “sisters”
also to go to their parties, to taste their food, which has filled my stomach
as well as my mind, and is one of the first enticing starting points to explore
their culture. I listened their music, a new intercultural blending of notes and
a key to their souls often full of home-sickness for their countries. I’ve
enjoyed photographing their dances, highlighting their beauty in the traditional
costumes, which invoke a different conception of the body and their way of living
in this world.
So I am really grateful for the splender of these cultures
which have enriched my spirit and given me deeper understanding of womankind....