Abidjan

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Honoring Abidjan, Ivory Coast, with @joana_choumali

To see more pictures from Joana’s Abidjan, follow @joana_choumali on Instagram.

Joana Choumali (@joana_choumali) is a fine art photographer based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Her polished projects have received international attention, yet on Instagram, she prefers to share observations of her city, through personal images of everyday life without fanfare.

“To me, Abidjan is a 50-year-old woman. She looks juvenile, even though she is not. She attracts young people, but she is an old city. She absorbs every international trend without taking the time to think about it. She is also changing her appearance. She is taking back control of her life. New construction, a new bridge — the city landscape is evolving every day.

Abidjan is a beautiful woman. Indeed, she is living above her means. But she is very charming and she knows it. You can’t put Abidjan into a box. Either you adore her, or you hate her. By picturing my city, I am talking to her. Sometimes I get mad at her. She has so many flaws. But the more I travel all over the world, the more I feel she is my home. She is perfect.”

(This quote is from an interview conducted in French.)

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POPCAP'14 WINNER | Joana Choumali

Abidjan based photographer Joana Choumali’s series Hââbré, The Last Generation explores scarification – markings created through superficial incisions made to the body. Hââbré means both writing and scarification in Kô, a Burkinabe language. As documents of the physical traces of shared values, and traditions of self-imaging within cultural groups, her images reflect on how these are subject to change. Once the norm, and having high social value as she describes, individuals bearing these vestiges of the past, are now somewhat “excluded”. Joana Choumali was born in 1974 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. She lives in Abidjan Cococy, Ivory Coast.

Source | anotherafrica.net

Images courtesy of Joana Choumali and piclet.org. All rights reserved.

ANOTHERAFRICA.NET | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Young Africans, Wrapped in Tradition

When her grandmother died in 2001, Ms. Choumali realized how much of her family history would be lost because she had not been able to talk with her about her life.

“I felt like a part of me was going and part of my family was fading away,” she said. “For a long time, I felt guilty. I thought, I don’t speak the language, maybe I’m not that African.”

In her portrait series, “Resilients,” which was recently featured at the Photolux Festival in Lucca, Italy, sponsored by the African Artist Foundation, Ms. Choumali sought to document young, professional African women — mostly Ivorian — who also struggled with the lingering guilt of not being able to relate to their family’s traditional past. Over the course of several months, each portrait session required intense research on the specific details of how the clothes, jewelry, skin and hair needed to be styled based on the specific tribe the family was from.

She initially found most of her subjects — lawyers, students, doctors and managers — on the streets of Abidjan. Her sole requirement for the portrait was that the women had to wear traditional clothing already worn by their grandmother or an older female relative. This was intended to “emphasize the link between past and present, and also the cultural heritage,” Ms. Choumali said. Inspired by the golden hues of Rembrandt’s paintings, she handmade a backdrop to give the portraits a “feeling of time travel,” she said.

Ivory Coast Boy: Fun

Young boy having fun in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Photo Exhibition in Brasilia, Brazil
November 5-20, 2008. Featuring six international photographers. Overall exhibit: THE HEART OF AFRICA. Thirty images from Steve Evans in a sub-show called: AFRICA HEART, AFRICA SOUL. Sponsored by Cara e Cultura Negra.

Africa Heart, Africa Soul

A Photographic Exhibition by Steve Evans

“When shooting, there are certain qualities that immediately capture my attention,” Steve said. “It often has to do with the face and the eyes and what they might be saying – ‘I have wisdom,’ or ‘I know sorrow,’ or ‘I have dignity,’ or ‘I survived,’ or ‘I’m in love.’ I look for dignity and pride in a person. I look for pain and sorrow, melancholy and loneliness. I look for wisdom reflected in the wrinkles of age. I look for the innocence of youth, for the bond of strong relationships between a mother and a child, a father and a son, two friends, a man and a woman. These reflect the heart and soul of a person. In addition, there are particular circumstances of nature – like a sunrise or sunset – that reflect the very heart and soul of God.” Each image of “Africa Heart, Africa Soul” is a window into the very heart and soul of Africa, featuring photographs from the slave forts of West Africa to the majestic sunrises and sunsets of southern and central Africa. Six countries are documented: Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Ivory Coast, and the images span over twenty-five years of photographing Africa.

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loving these shots of women as the main characters in iconic american + international films. all set in a “representational sample of the cultural scenes in [africa]: dakar and abidjan, where the images were shot." 

Itanekeya word

editor•in•chief

art, literature + culture editor

photographer: omar victor diop

3 out of the 20 films represented:

 frida 

american beauty

chicago

more on the project here

Ivory Coast Market: Goods for Sale

Colorful vegetable seller in Abidjan, open market, Ivory Coast.

Photo Exhibition in Brasilia, Brazil
November 5-20, 2008. Featuring six international photographers. Overall exhibit: THE HEART OF AFRICA. Thirty images from Steve Evans in a sub-show called: AFRICA HEART, AFRICA SOUL. Sponsored by Cara e Cultura Negra.

Africa Heart, Africa Soul

A Photographic Exhibition by Steve Evans

“When shooting, there are certain qualities that immediately capture my attention,” Steve said. “It often has to do with the face and the eyes and what they might be saying – ‘I have wisdom,’ or ‘I know sorrow,’ or ‘I have dignity,’ or ‘I survived,’ or ‘I’m in love.’ I look for dignity and pride in a person. I look for pain and sorrow, melancholy and loneliness. I look for wisdom reflected in the wrinkles of age. I look for the innocence of youth, for the bond of strong relationships between a mother and a child, a father and a son, two friends, a man and a woman. These reflect the heart and soul of a person. In addition, there are particular circumstances of nature – like a sunrise or sunset – that reflect the very heart and soul of God.” Each image of “Africa Heart, Africa Soul” is a window into the very heart and soul of Africa, featuring photographs from the slave forts of West Africa to the majestic sunrises and sunsets of southern and central Africa. Six countries are documented: Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Ivory Coast, and the images span over twenty-five years of photographing Africa.