Channel / 19 Nov 2021

Photography and Africa Series

Photography and Africa Series

Ffotogallery set out to engage, support and network with projects from African visual artists and organisations, since the beginning of this year.

Through funding from the British Council, it enabled us to work on a Go Digital collaborative project with a Kenyan ‘Artivism’ organisation called PAWA254. As a result of this wonderful and fruitful collaboration, Where’s my Space? was birthed out of a labour of love. The project demonstrates how digital platforms play a key role in the drive towards more sustainable international projects. It has enabled exciting and creatively ambitious international work to happen without extensive travel, avoiding the cost/time spent and the associated carbon footprint. Collaboration between artists and organisations in Wales and Kenya have created economies of scale, knowledge transfer and shared digital expertise, less wastage and more efficient use of resources for the benefit of all. Furthermore, the pandemic saw closure of spaces where artists and organisations could meet, exchange ideas and collaborate effectively — but this didn’t stop creativity from flowing organically. Video communication platforms such as Zoom allowed us to engage in conversations with creatives from different parts of the world. Zoom also enabled us to hold our first online symposium, and two artists workshops discussion photography and Africa.

Online Symposium – More Than a Number

Research suggests that photographers and visual artists from parts of East, West and North Africa lack enough exposure and representation in the West. Through an online symposium, held on the 14th of July, we invited curators and guest speakers from throughout Africa — Sisipho Ngodwana, Stella Nantongo, Fatoumata Diabaté and Wacera Njagi — to engage in discussion and offer insight as to how said issues can be addressed.

Representing Fearlessness

Our first online artist workshop, held on the 16th of August, invited three artists from our exhibition More Than a Number to discuss their projects in detail under the theme ‘Representing Fearlessness’. Amina Kadous, Brian Otieno and Wafaa Samir addressed the audience with wisdom, discussing exposure, representations, experiences and challenges met while working in Africa.

Radical Sociality

On the 17th of August we invited Jacques Nkinzingabo, Maheder Haileselassie Tadese, Steven Chikosi and Fatoumata Diabaté, with Zoe Jordan as our French translator, to engage with the audience about their projects in our second artist workshop. The artists talked about their projects in more detail, while being open and honest of the challenges faced, such as when local and international organisations parachute Western photographers in Africa to document projects, and act as visual representations of Africa to the world.