This year, the International Photography Festival Olten 2023 (IPFO) welcomes the winners of the Contemporary African Photography Award 2022 . Until August 27, 2023, visitors will have the opportunity to attend this open-air public art event, which will take place at the Stadthaus Olten. They will also be able to explore the five winning photographic series using the Smartify app on their smartphones. The official opening will take place on August 23, 2023. The photographic artists selected for the CAP 2022 Prize are Amina Kadous, Remofiloe Mayisela, Lee-Ann Olwage, Mahefa Dimbiniaina and Pamela Tulizo. Discover below a glimpse of the lucky winners selected for the Prix CAP 2022 and participating in the IPFO 2023.
Born in 1991 in El Mehalla, Egypt, AMINA KADOUS is a photographic artist whose artistic identity has been forged since childhood in his homeland. Cotton, also known as white gold, has always been a part of her life, from an early age. A popular textile merchant for three generations, the artist grew up in a concession where planting cotton seeds and weaving cotton threads were a daily routine.
Today, living in Cairo, Egypt, his art recalls these childhood memories and draws on the legacy left by his grandparents to reconnect with what remains of the fading cotton seeds sown since then. His artistic technique serves as an anchor for the country’s historical past and cultural richness, and reminds him of a major symbol of his Egyptian identity. Through his photographic lens, he explores Egypt’s origin, evolution, erosion and plans for rebirth.
REMOFILOE NOMANDLA MAYISELA
Remofiloe Nomandla Mayisela is an artist who uses photography as an artistic medium. Born in 1994 in Johannesburg, South Africa, she lives in Johannesburg and focuses her art on the female condition. Remofiloe Nomandla Mayisela mainly makes self-portraits with large performative elements, and these images explore aspects of women’s lives. She draws on her own experience of breaking social and political sexual taboos in these creations.
The work “Lip Service” is the fruit of the artist’s analysis of the social stereotypes hidden behind the popular saying “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach“. Through this creation, the artist highlights the false freedom granted to women and the persistence of stereotypes in a society that claims to be egalitarian. The character featured in her photograph wears a traditional costume that is a mix of Western, domestic and local South African clothing. This representation aims to reveal the object role and place assigned to women in society, a degrading perception that is not limited to nationality or geography.
Lee-Ann Olwage is a South African visual storyteller and photographic artist. Born in 1986 in Durban and living in Cape Town, she focuses her work on collaboration, identity and celebration. She uses her photography as a means of co-creation and celebration. The artist sets up long-term projects in which she sets out to create a space, a space around which the people who collaborate with her art actively participate in the creation of images, mirror images of their respective histories.
In the series of images exhibited for the International Photography Festival Olten (IPFO 2023) , Lee-Ann Olwage’s photographic works address a new, specific project. Through her photography, she highlights the need for girls to attend school, in order to establish a society where African women and girls can not only dream, but also realize their dreams and reach their full potential. To bring this female empowerment project to fruition, the artist-photographer is collaborating with the girls of Kakenya’s Dream, a non-profit organization that uses education to empower girls and alleviate many of the ills crippling their full development.
MAHEFA DIMBINIAINA RANDRIANARIVELO
Born in 1991 in Antananarivo, Mahefa Dimbiniaina Randrianarivelo is a surrealist photographer from Madagascar. Initially drawn to graphic design and digital painting, he eventually turned to surrealist photography. His interest in this artistic style was influenced by major surrealist figures such as Claude Cahun, Erik Johansson, René Magritte, Gregory Crewdson and his favorite filmmaker, Wes Anderson.
In her photographic series entitled “Sarotava“, Mahefa Dimbiniaina Randrianarivelo presents portraits of headless individuals, disturbing images that nonetheless reveal the human capacity to judge the appearance of others, even unconsciously. However, the subjects of these images captured by the contemporary artist are the people of Madagascar. Regardless of gender, race or religion, he highlights the living conditions of a people who seem to live as if in the Middle Ages, but who have access to the technologies of the contemporary world.
Pamela Tulizo is a documentary photographer and journalist born in 1994 in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. She grew up in Goma, a region ravaged by civil war and notorious for the scourge of sexual violence perpetrated against women. Through her artistic mediums, she highlights the dual identity of Congolese women. Navigating between the victimized and devaluing representation conveyed by the press and an image of fighting women, bearers of hope and battling against social injustice.
In her photographic series presented at IPFO 2023, Pamela Tulizo reveals images of women who wish to be perceived as proud, beautiful and strong, fighting hard against prejudice and social injustice. Prejudices reinforced by the constant impact of news reports on the population of Goma, creating a vicious circle that prevents the region from developing positively.