I learned photography when I was very young from my uncle, whose studio was the only one in the city in the 90s. I was there and we were taking pictures of people’s lives. It was only natural that I turned to a career as a photographer afterwards.
I have always been an artist. It was in 2011 during the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire that I became a professional photographer.
I applied for this grant because Africalia is an excellent partner, to spread the message that I carry through this project and also to publicize my work. The scholarship is a great financial support which allows me to complete my budget and execute this PALUCOVID project.
The objective is that this photographic work can participate in an exhibition in order to keep track of the action taken.
Africalia’s grant allowed me to enter a creative residency. My creative process took place in three phases. The first stage was devoted to the identification of the sets, a casting of models and shooting tests. The second phase dealt with the actual shooting in the city of Dakar and in Casamance. It triggered a lot of curiosity and I found an opportunity to raise awareness on the necessity : to wear the mask, and to protect oneself against malaria by avoiding the places at risk. The mosquito net was presented as a means of protection. The third phase was devoted to the selection and the processing of the photos. the result is which is a slide presentation with a musical background.
The statistics agreed that COVID-19 would cause a very large number of casualties in Africa. Although this did not happen, we must admit that this pandemic revealed the weakness of the health systems and social coverage in our countries. For once, we are witnessing a situation in which all countries feel concerned : a crisis that threatens the survival of the human species.
My activities are taking place in a context where it is time for an introspective look at our socio-economic choices and our society models. It is a favorable environment to be a source of propositions and to disseminate new ideas. Hoping that this will resonate with decision-makers and populations. My activities are carried out with this intention, to participate in the building of a new paradigm in which every citizen will be treated with dignity, where collaboration replaces competition.
My feeling during the residency was deep because I realized that Covid-19 was in certain way born from globalization. It now affects all aspects of social life and, above all, the economy, the driving force of so-called modern societies. Without this globalization and the speed at which people move today, perhaps the virus would have been limited to Wuhan. During this residency I was confronted with the harsh reality of rural inhabitants’ way of life as well as working-class neighborhoods having no space at home to respect social distancing recommendations.
The first difficulties I encountered were already at the level of casting, no women willing to participate. I had to work at 70% with subjects I already knew well before covid19.
It has to be said that this crisis has made families more closed in and made people suspicious. I had a hard time because some public places were forbidden. I am 80% satisfied with the result, I think I could do better if we had more time.