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The Théodore-Monod African Art Museum : Prix pour la Photographie du musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac : Inhabit this World


The Théodore-Monod African Art Museum (Dakar Senegal) hosts the photography exhibition Habiter ce Monde which presents for the first time the works of the three 2019 winners of the Prix pour la Photographie du musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.

The result of the collaboration between the two institutions, the exhibition is an opportunity to put the work of three photographers in resonance with the Senegalese artistic scene. The curatorship is ensured by Christine Barthe and Annabelle Lacour, respectively responsible for the heritage unit of photographic collections and responsible for photographic collections for the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, and El Hadji Malick Ndiaye, curator of the Théodore-Monod African art Museum, IFAN Ch. A. Diop.

The photographs presented come from the research of three artists born in the 1980s from different backgrounds: Pablo Lopez Luz (Mexico), Abdoulaye Barry (Chad) and Prasiit Sthapit (Nepal). Their collective exhibition allows us to look at their works in a new light and to detect common concerns.

If photography is a way of being in the world, the three artists question different ways of investing in it, of inhabiting it. From the architecture of a house to a place of refuge, including belonging to a territory, they tell stories about the way in which humans exist and evolve in these environments.

Pablo Lopez Luz observes the way in which Cuban houses are protected, through the wrought iron motifs of the grilles surrounding the dwellings which, beyond their function of protecting the space, come from varied iconographic registers, adapted from Caribbean  culture and classical or baroque architecture.

Abdoulaye Barry uses photography in a more paradoxical way: always taken at night, his images show people forced to hide.

The creation of these portraits of refugees gives each person the possibility of existing individually, without being identified solely by the story of their misfortune. The shooting session also seems to give a moment of sharing with the photographer, a moment suspended in the shelter of the night, a temporary refuge.

In another way, but just as subtle, Prasiit Sthapit also questions what is shown or what remains hidden, in the context of post-war Nepal, once the urgency of protecting everyone has passed. His gaze returns to the traces of the violence experienced, in the landscapes but also the bodies. Beyond the apparent immutability of forests and villages, and behind the faces presented in the portraits, the photographer shows certain signs and recreates personal stories.

Each of these photographers thus suggests the possibility of perceiving beyond appearance and allows us to access stories previously inaccessible, because they are locked in the interiority of the conflict.


The Prix pour la Photographie du musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac

The Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac Photography Prize has demonstrated, since 2008, the museum’s commitment to non-European contemporary photographic creation. It is aimed at photographic artists from one of the four continents represented in its collections – Africa, Asia, Americas, Oceania. Since its launch, this program has provided support by financing the creations of three winners each year, selected by an international jury on the basis of an original project, consistent with their artistic trajectory. It also takes care of the final production of a selection of images from these works which then become part of the museum’s collection.

This commitment to extra-European contemporary photographic creation has thus made it possible to reveal, in nearly 15 years of existence, numerous talents, constituting a reference collection on international contemporary creation (41 winning photographers, around 700 prints), which interrogates issues as diverse as ecology, the migration crisis, post-colonial memory, the deconstruction of the patriarchal model or even the role of photography in contemporary questions of identity.

In 2022, the program’s allocation is re-evaluated at €30,000 per project, for an annual selection of 3 winners by an international jury, after a broad call for applications, thus becoming one of the most important prizes for photography.

At the same time museum, cultural center, place of research and teaching, the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac has a collection of more than 710,000 old and contemporary photographs which covers all the geographical areas represented at the museum, as well as the entire historical field of the medium, from 1842 to today.


Habiter ce Monde
Prix pour la Photographie du musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac
Musée Théodore-Monod d’art africain
Dakar, Sénégal
Exhibition / Off the premises
From January 19 to March 31, 2024,1918.html?lang=fr

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