Elise Fitte Duval, Casa África prize for the Bamako photography Biennial 2011

Photograph of the series "Living with your feet under water" (Elise Fitte Duval, 2009).

Photograph of the series "Living with your feet under water" (Elise Fitte Duval, 2009).

The photographer was born in Martinique and has lived in Senegal for many years. Last Friday Elise Fitte Duval was awarded the Casa África Prize for the  Bamako Photography Biennial 2011. Duval took part in the Bamako Biennial, which this year was chosen to depict sustainability under the title For a sustainable world, with a series of photographs called Living with your feet under water.

Fitte Duval's photographs report that in Dakar, neighbourhoods such as Pikine, Rufisque or Guediawave, "only five minutes" of rain are enough to flood the streets and homes in the area. As it happens in 2010 all historic records for rain were broken, which left these neighbourhoods flooded for six months, changing its inhabitants day to day. "I have tried to show people's daily life with my photographs, who survive among the water they are not accustomed to." said the winner.

During the awards ceremony for the Biennial prizes, the jury pointed out that the photographs presented are a powerful reflection tool to set out how countries should react against climate change. In fact, Elise Fitte Duval's message stresses the need for politicians in charge to make an effort in urban policies so that these can examine the new scenarios climate change are bringing about.

Casa África, together with the Spanish Embassy in Mali, collaborated once again with this Biennial edition by awarding this prize, directed at a photographer. The prize is for a book to be published as part of the collection African Photographers that Casa África has launched in collaboration with the publishers La Fábrica and organising an exhibition in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, a city which is home to the headquarters of the institute for public diplomacy, and that will later travel throughout Spain. In the previous edition, the Casa África prize was awarded to the South African Zanele Muholi, whose exhibition curated by Masasam Espacios de Creación, can be seen at Casa África until 20th January.


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