Expert view: Seven leading African photographers from across the continent

What contributes to the growth of contemporary photographers and photography?

With the changing modern times, contemporary photographers have thrived in the business world. This art refers to photographs taken in recent times, reflecting and creating an image of our value, challenges, and perception. Especially in Africa, contemporary photography is flourishing. They attribute this to exhibitions, prizes, and new art initiatives such as spray painting.

The growth of contemporary art on the continent is because of various measures—for instance, the opening of new museums and exhibition places. An example is the saint Louis photography museum on Senegal and African contemporary Art Al Madam of Morocco. These museums marked an international launch as close to 40 African photographs were showcased. A collaboration between different museums promoted collective exhibitions and promoted a commercial sphere in art. Such partnerships were between Biennial in Mali and Art Lagos in Nigeria.

There are also international platforms like 1-54 contemporary African art flair. This year’s art flair occurred in London and New York. Such increased diversification promotes widespread popularity and global markets. There was February’s Marrakesh event with a big audience. It aided in marketing for photographic exhibitions.

Following the growth of contemporary art, CNN asked for Africa’s art scene most prominent figures to select their promising photographers.

Tokini Peterside

He is the founder and director of Art X Lagos. He appreciates the photographic works by Africans and helped market their works globally. Tokini selected two Nigerian photographers; Kadara Enyeasi and Lakin Ogunbanwo.

Kadara says she gained interest in photography when two of her sisters started modeling. She would often take pictures of them, but with changing times, her passion grew intense, and she took to pursuing it on another level. Currently, she works as a fashion designer. While Lakin states her passion for photography started since childhood. She actively started comprehending pictures at a young age. Often, she made portraits of her sisters. Generally, she is inspired by everything and innate beauty.

Touria El Glaovi

He founded and directed 1-54 contemporary art flair. Through the African flair, photographic skills are nurtured and also spotlights great artists to the global market. Some of the recognized artists include Phumzille Khanylle. Phumzille is a talented South African artist. She says her inspirations come from people’s annoying way of life. Through studying the environment, she gets ideas that help build characters and images that she finally paints. Moreover, emotions also trigger images in her imaginations.

Helen Jonnings

She has stakes in the Natal magazine industry. As such, she forms part of the founding team. As the editorial director, she confirms the photographs before publications in the magazine. The digital print publication was established in 2015 to promote African fashion, culture, and outfits. She chose visual artist prince Gyasi. Prince Gyasi says, unlike other photographers, he is a visual artist for his works are not photographs but images that resemble paintings. His ambition is to leave a legacy in the art world. His works are a motivation of pictures taken by his iPhone. His passion developed following his liking for taking pictures at a young age.

Moroder Haileselassie Tadese

He is a member of everyday Africa collective institution which aims to change people’s perceptions about art in Africa. The collection of arts in this institution consists of daily images of photos submitted by photographers across the globe. He spotlighted Nana Kofi and Brian Otieno. Nana Kofi, an artist from Ghana attributed his skills during the time he worked advertising. With mastery of the art, he used the skill not only to take beautiful pictures but also to tell a story about Africa. Hoping to change people’s perceptions about certain things. When he thinks about how the camera immortalizes people, he feels motivated.

While for Brian Otieno, his career in photography began five years ago. His neighborhood, Kibera inspire him. Unlike the usual narrative of Kibera, he deals with dominant facts about the place. Such tales are through his photographs.



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