Photographs are powerful, they have the uncanny ability to preserve a moment in history, a precious memory that we are unwilling to let go of.
Ivorian photographer, Joana Choumali mined that power a while back to do something a little bit different; document young, contemporary African women and their relationships to past generations.
Joanna Choumali told Huffington Post about the project which she called ‘Resilients’ that;
The concept was inspired by her grandmother, who passed away two years ago. The artist realized upon her grandmother’s passing just how much of her story had gone with her.
She resolved to embark on a project that would document young, contemporary African women and their relationships to past generations. Through the photos, Choumali hoped to convey that the past is never truly lost. “I was hoping to convey the fact that African women mutate through the generations while remaining anchored to their roots and traditions, able to remain true to themselves, just like the earth from which they came.
That project has blessed us with some amazing images that celebrate African clothing and show contemporary African women embracing their roots.
Joana Choumali, was born in 1974 and is a fine art photographer based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. She studied Graphic Arts in Casablanca (Morocco) and worked as an Art Director in an advertising agency before embarking on her photography career.
Her website features more pictures from projects centered around African concepts including one on scarification and the return to natural afro hair.
On her about page, she reveals that she works primarily on conceptual portraiture, mixed media and documentary. She uses her photography to explore her own identity.
Much of her work focuses on Africa, and what she, as an African, is learning about the myriad cultures around her. Her work allows her to explore assumptions she has and nourishes her as she expands her conceptions of the world.