03. June - 30. September 2017 la Gacilly


A. Jeux de miroir en studio. © Omar Victor Diop / Magnin
Le Studio des icônes. © Seydou Keïta / SKPEAC
Sai Mado The Distant Gaze. © Aïda Muluneh
Le cadavre d’un gorille mâle est transporté par un groupe de rangers congolais. Cette image a été récompensée d’un World Press Photo en 2008. © Brent Stirton / Verbatim
Rupee, capucin à face blanche. Série Plus qu’humain. © Tim Flach

Africa Comes To La Gacilly

Western photography often represents Sub-Saharan Africa as the continent of misfortune, of civil wars, famines and malnutrition, of diseases that decimate entire populations. Or, conversely, but equally clichéd, it emphasises the age-old Africa of glossy coffee-table books; that of wide open spaces, ethnicities and wild fauna.

African photographers show a different reality, and it is this that the festival la Gacilly Photo wishes to exhibit. What they want to reveal is their own vision of the world and the way they belong to it. Far removed from the clichés of exoticism and Western grandiloquence, they show radiant faces, poetic escapes, snap-shots of life captured in the streets.

They go off the artistic beaten track; they strive to present a lucid picture of their  people’s destiny; they are the trail-blazers of a new photography that is capturing the interest of art markets, gallery owners, collectors and patrons.

But the fact remains that the general  public continues to be unaware of the  work  coming  out  of  Sub-Saharan  Africa. Because this is an emerging photography, born in the wake of decolonisation, and its resources are still too few.

It is struggling to establish itself beyond its borders. We should speak of African photographies, so diverse are the talents and forms of expression, made up of sensibilities and approaches that are sometimes radically opposed. In 1991 the photographer Françoise Huguier discovered Seydou Keïta. At  that  time  African  photography  was  unknown beyond  the  shores  of  the  continent.

In 1994, Keïta was given a retrospective at the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art and was the guest of honour at the first “Rencontres de Bamako” African photography biennale. He was subsequently the first African to enter the Photo Poche collection in 1995, before being exhibited at the Guggenheim in New York.

Like Keïta, now known as the “father of African photography”, other portrait  photographers have also established a reputation: the Malian Malick Sidibé,  Senegalese Mama Casset and Oumar Ly and, more recently, Omar Victor Diop who playfully reinvents colour.

The 14th edition of the La Gacilly Photo Festival will showcase African photography. Through its diversity and creativity, and through the eyes of the photographers capturing this emerging continent, a whole new world opens up before us, beckoning us to fall in love with it and protect it.

The festival will take place from June 3 to September 30, 2017 in the french municipality la Gacilly and traces two central topics: The African Photography and the relationship between Man and Beast.

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