África.es in Casa África

From 2nd May to 2nd August 2013

Detalle de una de las fotografías hechas por Zanele Muholi en Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

África.es revolves around the look of several African photographers in relation to different Spanish urban areas selected for this purpose. Through this project, seven African artists came to Spain and each of them were assigned a Spanish city that, without any limitation on subject, could convey through their unique vision and reflection what the city suggested to them through spaces, people, situations, etc.. The seven artists selected from seven different African countries, stood out by undertaking quality and cutting edge work from where  AECID wants to promote itself.

After a joint meeting in Madrid, the artists travelled to their assigned cities where they carried out their corresponding photo shoots during seven days. As a result of their work a group exhibition with selected works from each of the artists was produced. This exhibition has already been seen in cities like Madrid, Seville and Valladolid and now comes to Casa África's headquarters, occupying their halls from the 2nd May 2013 until 31st August this year.

Below are the artists who have participated in the project, their country of origin and the Spanish cities that they have portrayed:

  • Mamadou   Gomis from Senegal to Bilbao. Born in Ndoulo on the 4th June 1976, he mixes his work as a photojournalist with that of an artist. Since 1999 he has carried out his work as a reporter for several daily newspapers and magazines in Senegal and also working for various international news agencies. He has collaborated on various projects with various international NGOs such as Oxfam, WFP and FAO. Since 2006, he has carried out intense activity as an artist which has led him to exhibit in various international exhibitions in Mozambique, Morocco, Spain and the United States, highlighting "African now" in Washington DC in 2008 and "Migratory Tides" in Las Palmas, in 2009 . He has several publications and photographic awards to his credit and has been part of several artist residencies.
  • Patrick Wokmeni, from Cameroon to Sevilla. Born in Douala, on the 3rd March 1985, his first actions with photography took place in 2002. In 2006 in Paris he was part of the exhibition "Young Africans in Paris" and in Douala as part of the group exhibition "Slide Show" at the Contemporary Art Centre of Douala. In 2008 he consolidates his work abroad with the presence of his work in the group exhibition "Young Africans" in Malaga and Valladolid. Moreover, his work is included in the group exhibition "12/friche" in Malraux (France). In 2009 he undertakes photographic works in Accra (Ghana) as part of the Bamako Bienniel of that year and in 2010 he took part in the 9th edition of Dak'art, Senegal.
  • Nii   Obodai, from Ghana to Valladolid. Born in Accra on 4th November 1963 and raised between England, Nigeria and Ghana, he currently lives and works in Ghana. His work explores the urban and rural life from the point of view of an artist. His photographs take us to contemporary Africa while at the same time placing the viewer in a space between tradition, improvisation and modernity, a space in which the majority of Africans are forced to live. His work leads us to a new Africa where different religions coexist, accompanying traditions and contemporary life and the Diaspora faces return to their origins. His work is highly expressive and visual and is always evolving. He has travelled throughout West Africa, exploring and remembering the essence of African life. His work has been exhibited in Accra, Paris and Bamako.
  • Arturo Bibang from Equatorial Guinea to Valencia. Born in Bata, this freelance photographer, works with various publications and agencies, including Zero-Magazine, El Mundo, Down Town, Morena Films and Boa Records. His training in the world of photography was done between Madrid and London. From 2004 to today he has participated in many solo and group exhibitions in Spain, Lebanon, Guinea and Italy.
  • Emeka   Okereke, from Nigeria to Madrid. Born in Lagos on 26th July 1980, his activity as an artist revolves around photography and video. Between 2006 and 2008 he studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris where he graduated. He has exhibited individually in Nigeria and France, with exhibitions held at the French Cultural Centre in Lagos in 2003 and 2005 and those carried out at the French Development Agency, in Paris in 2006 and in the Crous Gallery in the same city ​​in 2008 standing out. He has taken part in twenty group exhibitions since 2004 highlighting "Made in Africa Photography" in Milan and "African Beauties" in Nantes, France, both in 2004. In 2005 he took part in the 6th Festival of Photography in Bamako, Mali, and the Festival of Photography in Berlin. In 2006 he was part of the exhibition "Another World" in the National Library of France in Paris and the collective exhibition "Yound Africans." In 2008 he participated in the "Jonanessburg Art Fair". He has been part of several artist residencies and participated in several projects among which "Photography and Public Space", developed in 2008 in Maputo (Mozambique) should be highlighted where the public and art were tested. His works have won several international prizes and awards.
  • Zanele   Muholi, from South Africa to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Born in Umlazi, Durban, South Africa on 19th July 1972, she carries out her activity in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Her work as a photographer started in 2002 and since then she has held several solo exhibitions in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Amsterdam, Vienna and Lagos. She  operates from the Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town. She has participated in over 40 group exhibitions in major photographic centres and museums in Europe, America and Africa. She received the award for Best female photographer from Casa África and the Jean-Paul Blachère award, both granted within the scope of the African photography Bamako Biennial 2009. She has participated in several residences of artists in the U.S., the Netherlands and Australia. Her photographs have appeared in several publications and she has taken part in several conferences in Africa and Europe. 
  • Mohamed Konate, from Mali to Barcelona. Born in Bamako in 1978, he is one of the leading figures of the emerging art scene in Mali. Born in 1978 in Bamako, Mali, where he studied sculpture and Multimedia Art. He works with media coverage of painting, photography and video, and is characterised by his highly original aesthetic language. In his videos and installations he experiments with the limits of social credibility and border policies. He participated in the 2008 Dakar Biennial where his work won a special recognition award.

These photographers have had the opportunity to work in the cities assigned with the aim of reflecting them from their own point of view and artistic sensibility. They are not descriptive photographic reports on each city, but they simply address a work setting where creativity can flow from each of the photographers.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. The project is designed as an exchange of looks and influences among some African artists and a country seen from seven cities. Hence the later roaming that will be held in different countries in Africa will be very relevant.

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