Africa

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Photography

More Than 100 Photographers Are Raising Funds to Protect 30 Million Hectares of African Parks

September 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

Scott Ramsay, Mbeli Bai, Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, Republic of Congo, western lowland gorilla. All images courtesy of Prints for Wildlife, shared with permission

African Parks, a nonprofit focused on conservation and protecting endangered species, is behind several efforts to address the loss of biodiversity across the continent, and its latest initiative is to preserve 30 million hectares of parkland by 2030. Prints for Wildlife is supporting the effort through its annual fundraiser, which sells limited-edition works from more than 100 photographers around the globe. This year’s collection includes a diverse array of animals and environments, including multiple vulnerable or engaged species like the western lowland gorilla and polar bear.

Now in its third year, Prints for Wildlife has raised $1.75 million since it launched in 2020, and 100 percent of proceeds benefit African Parks. Shop the sale through September 25. (via Feature Shoot)

 

Pie Aerts, Naboisho Conservancy, Kenya, Masai giraffe

Marsel van Oosten, Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia, African elephant

Marco Gaiotti, Spitsbergen, Norway, polar bear

James Lewin, Amboseli National Park, Kenya, Masai giraffe

Gurcharan Roopra, Lake Magadi, Kenya, flamingos

Chris Schmid, Serengeti, Tanzania, cheetah

Beverly Joubert, Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Botswana, plains zebra

 

 

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Photography

Elegant Portraits by Ayana V. Jackson Are Inspired by African Diasporic Mythology

September 16, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“The Rupture Was the Story” (2019), all images © Ayana V. Jackson, courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

In a new photographic series artist Ayana V. Jackson explores the colonial gaze and historical portraiture traditions. Figures, all played by Jackson herself, appear in classical poses, draped in fishing nets, glittering flip-flops, and elegant Western gowns of years past. Each figure is inspired by African and African Disaporic water spirits including Olokun, Mame Coumba bang, Kianda, Drexciya, Yenanja and Mamiwata.

A statement from Mariane Ibrahim Gallery explains, “Jackson has used the archival impulse to assess the impact of the colonial gaze on the history of photography and its relationship to ideas about the body. She uses her lens to deconstruct 19th and early 20th century portraiture as a means for questioning photography’s role in constructing identities.”

The artist, who is based between New York, Hong Kong, and Johannesburg, also had a solo show this year at David Klein Gallery in Detroit. Her work has been collected by the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Detroit Institute of Art, Museum of African Contemporary Art Al-Maaden in Marrakesh, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others. Jackson was the 2018 recipient of the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.

This body of work is on view from September 20 – October 26, 2019 in Jackson’s solo show, Take Me to the Water. The exhibition is at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, which recently relocated from Seattle to Chicago. See more of Jackson’s photography on her website and Instagram. (via Artsy)

“Consider the Sky and the Sea” (2019)

“Sighting in the Abyss II” (2019)

“Sea Lion” (2019)

“Serene II” (2019)

 

 



Art Photography

Striking Aerial Photographs of Namibia’s Arid Landscape Appear as Abstract Paintings

October 22, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Australian photographer Leah Kennedy captured Namibia’s colorful, dry topography on a recent aerial safari. Much of the artist’s work is aerial, which satisfies her creative affinity for combining abstraction and duality in her photography. Kennedy traveled in a Cessna light aircraft, as well as in a helicopter sans doors, using a medium format camera. She shares with Colossal, “The resulting images are, at least temporarily, removed from their reality they take on different forms and in some cases appear to be of microscopic origins or reminiscent of something else entirely. This ambiguity and departure from reality is what intrigues and inspires my work.”

In addition to her fine art portfolio, Kennedy teaches workshops and offers tutorials on photography and Photoshop. You can see more of her site-specific series and purchase prints of select photographs on Kennedy’s website, and follow her work and travels on Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Nigerian Hair Culture Documented in Rainbow-Hued Portraits by Medina Dugger

August 9, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Purple Kinky Calabar. All photographs © Medina Dugger

Lagos-based photographer Medina Dugger documents colorful hair culture in the coastal Nigerian city with her ongoing series Chroma. The collection of portraits pays homage to J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, a renowned African photographer who documented women’s hairstyles in Nigeria for over 50 years, starting in the mid-20th century.

Prior to decolinization, Dugger explains, wigs and straightening had replaced much of the indigenous hair culture, and ‘Okhai Ojeikere’s documentations sought to celebrate traditional hairdos. She continues, “African hair braiding methods date back thousands of years and Nigerian hair culture is a rich and often extensive process which begins in childhood. The methods and variations have been influenced by social/cultural patterns, historical events and globalization. Hairdos range from being purely decorative to conveying deeper, more symbolic understandings, revealing social status, age and tribal/family traditions.”

While ‘Okhai Ojeikere’s images were in black and white, Dugger updates the documentary style with brightly colored backgrounds, a diverse array of vibrant contemporary fashion, and rainbow hues integrated into the hairstyles with thread, beads, and dyed extensions. You can see more of Dugger’s colorful editorial photography on her website and Instagram.

Blue Coiling Penny Penny

Blue Beri Beri

Golden Eggs

Left: Purple Irun Kiko / Right: Pink Buns

Yellow Tip Twist

Emerald Abebe

Aqua Suku

Left: Violet Irun Kiko / Right: Yellow Monocle

Pink Didi with Cowry Shell

Blue Star Koroba

Calabar Bun Trio

 

 



Animation

A Five-Part Stop Motion Anthology Tests the Limits of Short Film

June 6, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

This Magnificent Cake! is a new stop motion animation by Belgium-based filmmaker pair Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels (previously) which tests the physical limits of short film. The 44-minute, 5-chapter anthology is just over the cut for what can be considered a short film, yet is far more condensed then one that is a traditional longer format. Described as a “mid-length film,” the work follows five different characters through colonial Africa in the late 19th-century which include a “troubled king, a middle-aged Pygmy working in a luxury hotel, a failed businessman on an expedition, a lost porter, and a young army deserter.”

The film premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and will be screened at the upcoming Animafest Zagreb 2018, Annecy Festival 2018, and Anima Mundi Brazil 2018. You can see the trailer for the animation above, and more short films by de Swaef and Roels on Vimeo. (via Short of the Week)

 

 



Photography

Swirling Star Trails Captured Over the Namib Desert by Daniel Kordan

May 8, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Russian photographer Daniel Kordan is a master of photographing the cosmos. In 2016 we covered his journey to the Salar de Uyuni, where he captured millions of brilliantly hued stars reflected in the world’s largest salt flat. Recently, Kordan returned from a trip to Namibia where he mapped swirling trails of stars above the Deadvlei, a white clay pan speckled with the 900-year-old tree skeletons, and other sites across the Namib desert.

The images feature vortexes of multi-colored stars streaked across the sky like post-impressionist paintings. The Milky Way’s warm and cool tones intermix to create a kaleidoscopic vision of the sky above, and illuminate the barren desert landscape below. To capture such images yourself, Kordan suggests creating a time-lapse with a wide angle lens, and utilizing an app like PhotoPills which allows you to easily predict the position of the stars.

You can see more of Kordan’s exploration through Namibia in the images below, and view his photographs from other locations across the globe on his website and Instagram.

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Artist Cat Enamel Pins