PICS: Exhibition in France promotes African photographers

2017-07-10 11:55
Fatoumata Diabaté from Mali (Supplied)

Fatoumata Diabaté from Mali (Supplied)

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Cape Town - This year's La Gacilly photo festival in France has decided to celebrate the African culture through a variety of pictures taken by both renowned and amateur photographers.

The well-known French outdoor photography festival, which runs from June 3 to September 30, is being held under two main themes: animals versus men and portraits of African representation.

According to the Britanny Tourism website, the exhibition counts several hundred large format photos. 

The festival was born out of a small idea in 2004 by Auguste Coudray, the festival president, who displayed two full-scale outdoor pictures in the streets of La Gacilly. Inhabitants of the city in Britanny were amazed by the display, prompting the French businessman to transform it into an annual exhibition.

The aim of the festival is to make the public think about the future of the planet. Every summer, pictures ornament the walls of the town until the last day of September.

"Whether the focus is thousand-year-old forests, oceans or civilisations, there will always be a photographer on hand to expose the dangers they face," the website says.

At least 400 000 visitors are expected this year. 

Several artists from the African continent are staging their work, including Nigeria's Akintude Akinleye, Congolese Sammy Baloji and Fatoumata Diabaté from Mali.

The pictures depict various challenges affecting Africa - from petrol issues in Nigeria to the accidents in copper mines in in the Democratic Republic of Congo .

"Each piece of work references to a tradition. Portraits are someone's pride. Sometimes, it is the only present you can send to your family when you are abroad," Kwame Leduc, administrator of Fatoumata Diabaté studios, explains.

 "Making a tribute to her ancestor." Fatoumata takes portraits inside Gacilly's town to recreate the atmosphere of the streets of Bamako. Photo by Fatoumata Diabate 

Another famous African artist exhibiting at Gacilly’s festival is Brent Stirton, a South African born in Durban in 1969. Since 2008, Stirton has been working with National Geographic to denounce African and Asian poaching. 

"When I work, I spend 90% of my time investigating. Taking pictures is the easy part," Stirton said in an interview with a French newspaper, LeMonde.

See some of the pictures below. 

Photo by Brent Stirton/Courtesy of Getty Images

Photo by Brent Stirton/Courtesy of Getty Images

Read more on:    drc  |  nigeria  |  mali  |  west africa  |  art  |  africa

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