Celebrations / Negotiations

African photographer in Gilberto Chateaubriand Collection _ Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro

Malick Sidibé (Soloba, Mali, 1936), Seydou Keïta (Bamako, Mali, 1921), Jean Depara (Angola, 1928 – Congo, 1997), Ambroise Ngaimoko (Angola, 1949) e J.D. Okhai Ojeikere (Nigeria, 1930) show us the life richness in the African continent in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

About 30 photographies that present the celebration of ways of life in major African cities, the postcolonial daily, the social structure revealed in studio portraits of anonymous people. However, this bodies that pose and offer themselves to the eye, adorned by prints of African fabrics build a continuous game relating the viewer, the photographer and models in their cultural differences. 

Malick Sidibé, Seydou Keïta, Jean Depara, Ambroise Ngaimoko, J.D. Okhai Ojeikere have created images escaping the cliche that normally fixes the Africa as an homogeneous and primitive continent waiting for the colonizer’s gaze. Their points of view are singular and do not seek to define as simple object of our own interest, but to negotiate the aesthetically, social, historical and cultural  positions we currently occupy.

Cezar Bartholomeu and Marta Mestre.