Imagined during containment and officially launched in June 2020, The Photographic Collective is a non-profit initiative highlighting photographers and artists from and based in Africa, particularly those whose work is not currently represented by a gallery. The platform aims to present the work of emerging artists, as yet unknown archives and young talents on an online site and an Instagram page accessible to anyone across the world with an internet connection.
The Photographic Collective’s mission is to become an alternative and complementary source of information to established institutions. Its content is designed for anyone interested in or doing research in the field of African photography (curators, photographers and artists, academics, collectors). The platform aims to promote exchanges between different actors of the African cultural environment and to contribute to the discourse on the photographic medium in Africa.
Founded by Julie Bonzon (Dr), art historian specializing in South African photography, The Photographic Collective is made up of a board of artists and photographers active and active on the continent:
Jabulani Dhlamini (South Africa), Laura El-Tantawy (Egypt), Lebohang Kganye (South Africa), Ala Kheir (Sudan), Laila Hida (Morocco), Michelle Loukidis (South Africa), Mário Macilau (Mozambique), Uche Okpa-Iroha (Nigeria), Nii Obodai (Ghana and Mozambique), Léonard Pongo (DRC) and Rijasolo (Madagascar).
Together, the founder and the board exchange and discuss the work of artists whose promotion on The Photographic Collective could benefit and increase visibility. Each month, the work of two selected artists appears on the Collective’s Instagram page and website. To date, the following artists have been nominated:
Ibrahim Ahmed (Egypt), Nonzuzo Gxekwa (South Africa), Maheder Haileselassie (Ethiopia), Pippa Hetherington (South Africa), Godelive Kabena Kasangati (DRC), Amina Kadous (Egypt), Matt Kay (South Africa), Lorraine Kalassa (South Africa), Amilton Neves (Mozambique) and Etinosa Yvonne (Nigeria).
The work of these artists underlines the impressive creativity and diversity of artistic and photographic practices on the continent.
The Photographic Collective intends to connect artists, act as a network, and conduct collaborative projects whose content challenges the limited and often erroneous stereotypes and representations associated with the African continent.
In the space of five months, The Photographic Collective has evolved beyond expectations. The work of nineteen artists has been presented on its digital platforms, and conversations between artists from different cultural and geographical backgrounds have been published on the Collective’s official website. The content of the Collective has transformed, moving from digital space to physical space. In October 2020, the work of ten artists was presented in a special section of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London. The Collective will also participate in Home Museum, an online exhibition organized by the LagosPhoto Festival in November. In this particularly difficult period and in response to social restrictions due to Covid-19, the network of artists established by Photographic Collective appears to be more important and stronger than ever.
Julie Bonzon (Dr), founder of the Photographic Collective, November 2, 2020