In Photos: “Signares” by Fabrice Monteiro.
As European traders and explorers began to ascend on Africa’s west coast around the 15th and 16th century, as these men where forbidden from bringing their families and wives from their home countries, they began to intermingle and intermarry with African women in the Senegambia region. As a result of these relations, many of these women began to orchestrate business dealings to their benefits “using these partnerships to bolster their socioeconomic standing and personal trading enterprises”. One signare in the 1770s from St Louis, Senegal, is noted to have been a property owner and dealer as she bought and sold property in Saint-Domingue, while “five other signares in Gorée signed a petition against a poorly run French company that had been awarded an exclusive contract with the island”.
Although these relations were not at first recognized by colonial and European authorities, it later became acceptable for Europeans living in Senegal to marry and have their descendants profit from these unions through heritage rights. Most of these women were considered to be of a high class and often married “middle-class executives or French and English aristocrats”. Naturally, a new sense of fashion was born as the women combined their own traditional styles with European attire at the time.
All Africa, All the time.
Aminata “The Iron Lady” Touré, the Prime Minister of Senegal
A prominent human rights and women’s rights activist.
"Happy international women’s day! Celebrating African women"
"The Real Africa : Fight the Stereotypes"
Photos : Thiri Mariah Boucher
A photographer of Libyan descent born in the United States and raised between Tripoli, Libya and London, England, Jehad Nga's lens has explored many stories and identities all over the African continent. From photographing a beauty contest in Botswana for HIV affected to women, night commuters in Ugandan, and the Liberian civil war, to illegal migration in to South Africa and documenting his own country, Libya, Nga's body of work is unique in that it contains projects that cover all regions of the African continent.
In this 2010 series titled ‘Turkana’, Nga’s photographs highlight the people of the Turkana region of Kenya - perhaps the area worst hit by drought in the country. Despite oil and water reserves in Turkana, the people reap few of the benefits as the government and large corporations take control of these resources.
According to Nga, the Turkana are ‘dwindling in numbers’ due to drought and subsequent neglect from them Kenyan government. Devastatingly, as a result of food and water shortages and with little to no aid reaching them, for some of the people photographed by Nga, these are the very last images of them. Shortly after photographing them, several of the individuals photographed passed away as a result of starvation caused by drought.
With the darkness filling up the negative space in the photographs, the significance of this sombre effect is to show the disappearing of a people. Nga’s aim, through these photographs, is to highlight the neglected plight of the people of the Turkana region and create a consciousness and awareness concerning their situation.
Attaher is from Niger, lives in London and visited Rwanda for a couple of weeks, he kindly accepted to tell me his impressions about Rwanda :
Rwanda … WOW!
Discipline, quality of infrastructures, cleanliness of the city, culture, etc..
I really, really was impressed!
On the other hand, you really feel the weight of the Genocide even if it is not obvious … It is something you realise through conversations : most people of our generation (20/30) are orphans … It really affected me somehow.
Despite all of that, we must definitely acknowledge the amazing development of this country : on account to one person Paul Kagame! We can blame him of whatever we want, but this guy did a “high level” work! :-)
For instance, every weekend, neighbors gather to clean their neighborhood …
Basically I discovered a part of Africa that I did not know … A face of Africa that I would like to see more from other countries …
A beautiful Africa, hardworking, educated, secure and disciplined!
Lagos in the Red is a short documentary film about Nigerian artist Jelili Atiku.
Jelili Atiku is a Nigerian multimedia artist with political concerns for human rights and justice. Through drawing, installation sculpture, photography, video and live art performance; he strive to help viewers understand the world and expanding their understanding and experiences, so that they can activate and renew their lives and environments. Since 2008, he has been involved in an ongoing performance project, In the Red, which uses red as a symbol of life, suffering, danger and violence.