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2018 ICP Awards – Samuel Fosso: “I always have doubts, I’m always afraid”


Samuel Fosso had to flee his native Cameroon due to the persecutions caused by the war in Biafra”Nigeria”. He sought refuge in Bangui, Central African Republic, where, at thirteen, he opened his own photo studio. His expressive black-and-white self-portraits from the 1970s make reference to popular West African culture—musicians, the latest youth fashions, and political advertising—constituting a sustained and unprecedented photographic project that explores sexuality, gender, and African self-representation. Stagings of his personal identity, these self-portraits would gradually take a universal social and political dimension. In his series titled African Spirits (2008), he embodies iconic identities of fundamental characters of...

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