4: Landscape Identities 5: Resolution

Harandani Dikko Notes

Mali website a bit claustrophobic

La moustiquaire  beautiful black and white images through mosquito nets. Can’t download any of the text. Has facebook page.

4: Landscape Identities

Francois_Xavier Gbre Rough Notes

Mali  website

No artist’s statement or introduction. Very simple white portfolio site. Has links to exhibitions and press releases etc.

Tracks  review  very atmoshperic view of urban decay

Mali Militari

Mes tissages urbains

4: Landscape Identities 5: Resolution

Nii Obodai Rough Notes

Nigeria  Wordpress 2012 theme website but the gallery does not work.


Artist statement:

“My photography is the process of openly expressing what gives me the energy to remain sane and to visualize the art of life as I experience it.

My observation is that thought is image and vice versa. Thought is shaped by the mystery of now. When I create an image it’s not with a detached eye but with the reasoning that I am part observer, explorer, creator and messenger, with an artist’s inspiration from nature’s expression of being.

I desire to engage the past, traveling the places that create memory and thus to see a way into the future. I explore the zones between tradition, improvisation and modernity, documenting a New Africa. In this landscape of wonder, with its unlikely adeptness, cultures merge, positive traditions remain in contemporary living, faces of the Diaspora return home and spiritual stories are told not to be forgotten.

Having our thoughts come in the form of images, then what better method of communication than to use photography to express my imagination and allow for transformation. Going beyond the beyond. It‚s my way of exposing an exciting world where the least is more and beauty is undeniable. Finding and giving strength in simple ideas.

Spirit culture landscape earth music dance poetry space structure people infinity light. Cosmic tension and release. Healing.”


Francis Nii Obodai Provencal

Born in Accra, Ghana and has lived in England, Nigeria and Ghana, Francis Nii Obodai Provencal is at ease with the vast and diverse world of his continent. His work mainly explores the urban and rural, not with a detached eye, but with an artist’s careful watching, with a strong interest in history and a love of the stories that abound in his world.

Nii Obodai’s photographs are a conduit into a vibrant space. In his travels he discovers and explores the meaning of Farafina*. Here we merge into the zone between tradition, improvisation and modernity. We begin to feel the spirit of Farafina, with its adeptness where religions come together, traditions remain in contemporary living, faces of the Diaspora returned home and spiritual stories are told, from within a landscape of beauty. Nii Obodai is unafraid to challenge the common catch cries of what is accepted to be Africa – war, corruption, helplessness. We share his positive awareness of the daily lives of millions of normal people across the continent. In the images of Nii Obodai, the land of the Farafina is living poetry.

Nii Obodai is presently based in Ghana where he works and lives. He enjoys facilitating inspirational workshops on photography and continues to travel exploring and recording the vibrant essence of life. Nii Obodai has exhibited in Accra, Paris, Bristol, Den Haag, Amsterdam, Bamako.

Current Works:

Who Knows Tomorrow, a collaborative book project with Algerian-French photographer, Bruno Boudjelal.  This work is a poetic journey that explores the legacy of independence.

Liberation Of Soul, a work in progress of interviews and portraits of people in Africa exploring their vision for the future.  Liberation Of Soul is created with audio and photography.

Farafina Creates, a practical experience of design and construction with natural building resources.  This project explores the technologies and possibilities of rural potential. Farafina Creates also explores the relationship between architecture and landscape.  It’s in collaboration with Selassi Tettevie (artist/designer) and the Akplease Family of the Volta Region, Ghana. The Akplease’s are mud earth builders and forest-keepers.


Nii Kwei’s Day


Recent Exhibitions:

Who Knows Tomorrow, April 2009, Alliance Francaise, Accra

Who Knows Tomorrow, June 2009, Centre Atlantique de la Photographie, Brest


The Cité Internationale des Arts, 2005, Paris

Clark Bursary, Watershed, 2007, Bristol

*Farafina – Bambara Language (mali) meaning “Land Of The Black Skin

4: Landscape Identities 5: Resolution

Mathua Mateka Rough Notes

Website   much too flashy. One very large image that takes ages to load, even on my fast connection, never mind slow ones in Africa. Rolling slideshows etc down right hand side lead to very slow loading large images. Seems to be trying to use the most jazzy tools for photo galleries. But very confusing and doesn’t really work.

Entry screen is Maasai ?girl with nipple half exposed. Is this a tongue-in cheek parody of African exoticism or just cheesy??

Confusing icons like the power button to get to the main menu.

Landscape not very original.

Instagram showcase  some possibly interesting ‘over-the-top digitally-manipulated colour’ images for advertising.

I am a city-changer

General impression he is rather full of himself.

Artist Statement

I – Mutua Matheka – am an artist born and bred in Machakos and fine-tuned by Nairobi. I draw, sketch, mold stuff, destroy stuff & occasionally create stuff… I have been drawing and sketching since my mother placed crayons in my hands at just 3 years of age. The art has since then morphed from Drawing, Illustration, Graphic art, Architectural Visualization to Photography, my latest obsession. When I’m not meeting a deadline or sharpening crayons, I love to get my adrenaline pounding by riding motorbikes, mountain climbing, and (if I got a chance) para-troop and ski.

I am a graduate Architect from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (J.K.U.A.T), now fully applying my architectural eye to capture Architecture, cityscapes & landscapes. I love photography and I hope you can see that love by looking through my images.

I credit my creativity to The Creator who is the number one creative in my books, and my mom for the 3yr old crayon awakening. Also, I’m happily married to a beautiful woman who also doubles as a personal model.

Together with David ‘Blackman’ Muthami and the UN Habitat, we are using my photography of urban spaces in Africa to showcase a beautiful Nairobi and eventually Africa. Through the ‘I’m a City Changer‘ campaign, we seek to change mindsets of people in cities especially in Africa about their cities. Take a look at the ‘I’m A City Changer‘ page on my website to see the images that people all over the world are sharing to show why they love their cities. To this effect we held the first photography showcase for ‘I’m a City Chager’ in Nairobi that attracted lots of media attention.

I’ve been featured in Nokia’s ‘Teddy Bears & Talking drums’, a documentary (view here), ADA (African Digital Art), Afri-Love (, BBC News Africa’s In Pictures, Nation Newspaper feature, Kiss 100′s Breakfast show with Caroline Mutoko, Zuqka magazine (Nation newspaper). I have won the pioneer BAKE AWARD for best Photography Blog in Kenya, as well as being nominated for the International CSS DESIGN Award based in the United States, putting both Kenya and Africa on the Map in photography. My photos have been used by BBC MEDIA, KUVAA IN NETHERLANDS, African Digital Art, NTV’s PM LIVE, among other avenues showcasing excellence.

I’ve also had the privilege of working with: Image 360 designs, Iseme, Kamau & Maema Advocates, Symbion Architects, Reata Apartments, Radio Jambo, Kiota Guest house, Exotic Golf Safaris, UP Magazine, Kobo Safaris, and artists like: Blackman, Daddy Owen, Bupe, Anto Neosoul, Neema, Ruth Wamuyu, Kevo Juice, Five.Oh.One, Dj MO, Monique, Ma3 band, Sara Mitaru, among many other amazing people.

You can connect with me through any of the avenues listed below:

To contact me on any general thing please email [info at]

For information about my prints or to purchase any of my images kindly email [sales at]

4: Landscape Identities 5: Resolution

Dillon Marsh Rough Notes

South Africa landscape website

Themed series of mostly fairly muted colour images of diamond and copper mines, pathways and trees in landscape.


I was born in Cape Town in 1981 and I continue to live there today. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from the University of Stellenbosch and during the course of my studies I was drawn to photography and I have remained passionate about it ever since.

Solo Exhibitions:

2012 – Landmarks I, Blank Projects, Cape Town, South Africa
2011 – Lay of the Land, AVA Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2014 – Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America, Saatchi Gallery, London, England
2013 – Present Tense, Next Future, Lisbon, Portugal and Paris, France
2013 – POPCAP’13,, Basel, Switzerland, Dublin, Ireland and Lagos, Nigeria
2013 – ExtraOrdinary, Noorderlicht, Drenthe, Netherlands
2013 – The Benediction of Shade, David Krut Projects, Cape Town, South Africa
2012 – Material / Representation, Brundyn + Gonsalves, Cape Town, South Africa
2012 – Landscape Re-Orientation, David Krut Projects, Cape Town, South Africa
2011 – A Natural Selection: 1991 – 2011, AVA Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2011 – e-SCAPES, Workshop Gallery, Parkwood, Johannesburg, South Africa
2010 – Spier Contemporary, City Hall, Cape Town, South Africa
2008 – Sasol New Signatures, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, South Africa

4: Landscape Identities 5: Resolution

Emeka Okerere Rough Notes

Nigeria  website

Much more voyeuristic and less engaged than eg Michael Tsegaye. Performance photography,

Artist’s statement

Emeka Okereke born in 1980 is a Nigerian photographer who lives and works between Africa and Europe, moving from one to the other on a frequent basis. He came in contact with photography in 2001. He is a member of Depth of Field (DOF) collective, a group made up of six Nigerian photographers.

Presently, his works oscillate between diverse mediums. He uses photography, poetry, video and collaborative projects to address issues pertinent to his convictions. His works deal mainly with the questions of co-existence (beyond the limitations of predefined spaces), otherness and self-discovery. Often times they are subtle references to the socio-political issues of our times.

Another aspect of his practise lies in project organising which artistic interventions to promote exchanges cutting across indigenous and international platforms.

To this effect he organized the first ever photographic exchange projects between a school in France and one in Nigeria involving the Fine Art School of Paris and Yaba College of Arts and Technology Lagos. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of “Invisible Borders Trans-African Photography Project” an annual photographic project which assembles up to ten artists from Africa towards a roadtrip across Africa. There has been three editions of the project since 2009. Through Emeka Okereke Photography & Projects, he co-ordinates projects based on exchanges. The most recent of these projects include: Crossing Compasses, Lagos-Berlin Photo Exchange (May – June 2012) and Converging Visions: Nigeria – Netherlands Photo Exchange (June – September 2012)

In 2003, he won the Best Young Photographer award from the AFAA “Afrique en Création” in the 5thedition of the Bamako Photo Festival of photography. He has a Bachelors/Masters degree from the National Fine Art School of Paris and has exhibited in biennales and art festivals in different cities of the world, notably Lagos, Bamako, Cape Town, London, Berlin, Bayreuth, Frankfurt, Nurnberg, Brussels, Johannesburg, New York, Washington, Barcelona, Seville, Madrid, Paris, etc. He has also won several awards both in Nigeria and Internationally.

Invisible borders: Trans-African Photography Project

In 2009, I founded a project which every year unites up to ten African artists – photographers, writers, film makers and art historians on a road trip across Africa in a bid to reflect on exchanges across geographical borders. The core concept of this project is deeply rooted in the philosophy of movement and the ardent need to transcend inflicted limitations, by creating a crossbreed of realities which in turn offers the possibility of an extension of oneself beyond predefinitions.

There has been four editions of the road trip project with journeys to Mali, Senegal, Ethiopia and Gabon – always departing from Lagos Nigeria.  I have taken part and coordinated all  four editions, travelling across over 15 countries in the process.

During the trips, my works consisted of images, writings and films which looks at the intricate interactions between people and their spaces as experienced in the Africa of today – that friction between people and space in the quest for existence and co-existence. Furthermore, these works testify to an Africa at the brink of a turning point, that point where the new is struggling its way out of the old…and we are the signs as well as symptoms.

Sao Tome

It is a small Island with only 180,000 inhabitants. Everything man-made seems to be engulfed by the freshness of nature. There are more trees and forests than people and due to this, the people have a unique relationship with nature. Food is abundant because the land and plants are far from barren. All year round the trees produce all kinds of fruits. It is an Island of immense greens. Where only the thought of the concept of selling “bio” foods at acutely exorbitant prices becomes immediately ridiculous.

In the way of material acquisition, we do not see much. The cityscape is plagued with old dilapidated building of obviously Portuguese architecture. One could tell that much has not been done in terms of an independent advancement since its independence from Portugal in 1975.

The buildings are chipping away with every passage of time, with no scheme towards preservation talk more of restoration – they just stand there obtrusively like phantoms of a colonial past, creating a picture of people meandering through “beautiful” shacks and rubbles. But all of this is perfectly cocooned every inch of the way, by the freshness and liveliness of the many plants.

Rituals Lagos 2001-2003

This project was one of the first body of works produced at the earlier stages of my carrer. It explores the relationship between body and light. These works won the Afrique en Creation Price at the 2003 Bamako festival of Photography.


4: Landscape Identities

Michael Tsegaye Rough Notes

Michael Tsegaye, Ethiopia,  portfolio website

Born in 1975, Michael Tsegaye lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He received his diploma in painting from Addis Ababa University’s School of Fine Arts and Design in 2002, but soon gave up painting after he developed an allergy to oil paint. He subsequently found his real passion in photography and has made of it not only a profession, but a way of expressing a very particular voice.

“As a photographer I try as much as possible to escape being pigeonholed. I place myself among my peers (photographers and painters) across the world. While the spirit of my culture — its traditions in music, poetry and literature — informs my photography, my goal is that of any artist: to understand my life and standpoint in the 21st century, and express these through art.”

Future memories chronicles the urbanization of various neighborhoods in Addis Ababa.

Chasms of the soul  images are of gravestones in Ethiopia. When a person dies, his or her relatives place a photograph onto the tombstone and also inscribe a short history of the deceased. Thinking about the family’s photographs, and the idea of memorials and loss, I am struck by the personal sense of damage that these images—and the air that falls about them—evoke. As a result of time, those buried continue to experience a second death: the gradual deterioration of their entombed identity.

Ethiopia at work 10 years ago it was said that it took a full day for the average farmer to walk to the closest road. This prevented farmers from communicating with neighbours or engaging in independent small-scale market activity with each other. But in the Wollo region of Ethiopia, I came across a new market that was created by the building of a road that was still under construction. (2008)

Working Girls ll Commercial sex workers who live in Sebategna, a busy neighborhood in Addis Abeba close to the central bus station and Merkato (the largest open-air market in Africa). (2009) Black and White chiaroscuro.

North Road  Impressions of northern Ethiopia along the road that leads from Addis Abeba to Wello, Tigrai, Gonder, and Gojjam. (2008) Full saturated colour.

Ankober (2007) Misty atmospheric Black and White

Arenguade (2011) Semi-abstract patchwork images of Ethiopian fields taken from a plane. Colour.

Afar (2011) Erta Ale active volcano in Eastern Ethiopia Danakil depression. Black and white textures and rock formations.

4: Landscape Identities Documentary Inspiration Review

African Photography

Images of Africa by Western photographers have been plagued by photographs of starving children, war, wildlife photography, tourist landscapes and portraits of African tribes exoticizing the “dark continent.” But Africa for the past few years has been immersed in digital technology and culture and the digital age in Africa can now be witnessed through art and photography.

Key Questions

Is there an ‘African’ style?? subject matter, perspectives, colours, line

or just individual photographers who happen to come from Africa?

Hotshots: Africa’s most exciting new photographers 

Jepchumba 2013 Jepchumba, originally from Kenya, is founder and creative director of African Digital Art, which is dedicated to African digital media and art. 

Zanele Muholi, South Africa: “visual activist.” Her photography often takes on subjects that are taboo and unspoken in parts of Africa and Muholi is renowned of her groundbreaking portraits of the lives of gay women in South Africa.

Hélène Amouzou, Togo: series of self portraits taken in the attic of her home.

Nii Obodai, Ghana:  “Who Knows Tomorrow?”  book offers his take on the contemporary visual representation of Ghana.

Mutua Matheka, Kenya: one of the founders of Kenya 365, a 365-day project inviting Instagramers to take photos of Kenya, chronicling the changing Kenyan landscape and how economic and technology growth has influenced the country.

Lakin Ogunbanwo, Nigeria: visually provocative imagery of fashion culture in Nigeria.

Dillon Marsh, South Africa: travel throughout Southern Africa where he documents various places, experimenting with the strange uniqueness of familiar neighborhoods and landscapes.

Emeka Okereke, Nigeria: founder of Invisible Borders, a road trip project that invites artists and photographers to go on a journey to explore new images of the continent throughout West Africa.

Michael Tsegaye, Ethiopia: Traversing through remote parts of Ethiopia, Tsegaye’s portfolio displays wide ranging social issues that affect the people in the country. Tsegaye has done many fantastic photo series, including “Working Girls,” a photo essay on the lives of sex workers in Addis, as well as “Future Memories” — a series that chronicles the urbanization of various neighborhoods in Addis Ababa.

 Encounters PICHA Biennale 

2010: selected by Simon Njami: Adama Bamba (Mali), Dimitri Fagbohoun (Togo), Jellel Gasteli (Tunisia), Kiluanji Kia Henda (Angola), Kiripi Katembo Siku (D.R.Congo), Mouna Karray (Tunisia), Pierrot Men (Madagascar), Zineb Sedira (Algeria), Zwelethu Mthethwa (South Africa) in photography; Bili Bidjocka (Cameroon), Jimmy Ogonga (Kenya), Kader Attia (Algeria), Moataz Nasr (Egypt), Myriam Muhindou (Gabon) in video art.

 Bamako African Photography Encounters (French: Rencontres africaines de la photographie) is a biennial exhibition in Bamako, Mali since 1994. website links to photographers do not work. But under each biennial you can find lists of prize-winners.

The 6th annual African Photography Encounters  2005, with the theme of “Another World.” The prizes awarded were:

The jury also honored Ranjith Kally (South Africa) for his life’s work.


There is here a clear difference between photographers who are really engaged – with privileged and deep communication with their subject and environment, They are able to get very raw and moving images.

And others who are obviously from a more sheltered social background and tend to follow Western voyeurism and exoticism – but often less technically adept.

Images of Africa by Western photographers have been plagued by photographs of starving children, war, wildlife photography, tourist landscapes and portraits of African tribes exoticizing the “dark continent.” But Africa for the past few years has been immersed in digital technology and culture and the digital age in Africa can now be witnessed through art and photography.

4: Landscape Identities Documentary Inspiration

Marcus Bleasdale

Marcus Bleasdale (born 1968) is a photojournalist, born in the UK to an Irish family. He spent over eight years covering the brutal conflict within the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and has worked in many other places. Much of his work is linked to fundraising for aid and human rights agencies and there is often a link to ways t donate. His videos are extremely powerful and also discuss what people can do to change the situations the are seeing.

His images are in both black and white and colour and he also does video. They get their power because he is well informed about what he is shooting and knows why he wants hat shot and also has access to people and situations most outsiders would not. But he also has an extraordinary sense of composition and tone. Some of his images at composited (no examples available for download) but I generally find these less powerful.

Rape of a Nation.

3: Landscape as Political Text 4: Landscape Identities 5: Resolution 6: Transitions Documentary Inspiration

Paul Seawright

Paul Seawright is best known for his ‘late photography’ of battle-sites and minefields. He often uses vintage technology and a much older approaches to conflict photography. But rather than reportage, his images are made for museum-going audiences and gallery patrons by people who call themselves ‘artists’.


If it is too explicit it becomes journalistic. If it is too ambiguous, it becomes meaningless…The constriction of meaning is done by the person looking at it. The artist has to leave space for that’

‘Paul Seawright, Voice Our Concern Artist’s Lecture 2010’ is a 40 minute illustrated artists lecture by the artist photographer Paul Seawright given in the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in November 2010. Paul talks about the use of photography in conflict situations as often being unreliable and how his work as a photographic artist is a response to this. He presents photographs from the Crimean war and discusses the influence of photographer Paul Graham on his work. He describes the difference between photo journalism and art in the context of artists defining their subjects and in the construction of meaning. He goes on to discuss and present examples of his Sectarian Murder Work series. This Voice Our Concern lecture was a joint project organised by IMMA and Amnesty International Ireland.

The Forest 2001

17 photographs of desolate roadside lay-bys, ditches and car parks shot at night and lit by what we assume to be streetlights. By day they would probably be ordinary, but at night with the lighting they take on a sinister tone (like images we are used to seeing in detective TV series). ‘Because there is such a division between what we can see and what we cannot see (the fall off of the light does not allow for much penetration into the forest edge) what belongs there (the trees, underbrush and roadside curbs) and what doesn’t belong there (us), these are photographs that place the viewer into the shoes of the vulnerable’ (Paul Seawright’s website)

Hidden (2002)

In 2002 Seawright was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum London to undertake a war art commission in Afghanistan.In spite of the climate in which they were made, have a cool, Becher-like objectivity to them. Tension is created by concealing as much as is revealed in the photographs and their caption. Through unorthodox framing, selective focusing in places, and at times seemingly banal viewpoints, there is a palpable sense of unease in this landscape that is strewn with concealed lethal hazards. For example another image shows recently dug up mines – done by hand because they cannot be identified with mine detectors against the rest of the iron in the land., as well as America’s most wanted outlaw, who would take a further nine years to track down. His photograph of shells in Afghanistan explicitly echoes Fenton’s famous image from the Crimea.

For some of the main images and reviews (eg John Stathatos) see:

Invisible Cities 2007   

after Italo Calvino book.

Seawright travelled to major cities in sub-Saharan Africa, exploring communities on the edge of conurbations, both geographically and socially. Comprises varied photographs, some of which are recognisable as landscape pictures, or environmental portraiture. None of the titles of the photographs refer to specific locations or people, which emphasises the indistinct nature and anonymity of these places and their inhabitants.

Bridge (2006) the road bridge, presumably an interchange of major roads on the edge of the city, cleanly divides the frame in two. A yellow bus heads along the road towards the city from, we suppose, the sanctuary of the suburbs, taking children to school or their parents to work. The sky is empty and bleak, echoed by the detritus that sprawls below, shielded by the flyover from the view of the bus’s passengers.

Things Left Unsaid


Paul Seawright is Professor of Photography and Head of Belfast School of Art at the University of Ulster. His photographic work is held in many museum collections including The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Tate, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, International Centre of Photography New York, Arts Councils of Ireland, England and N.Ireland, UK Government Collection and the Museum of Contemporary Art Rome. They have also been exhibited in Spain, France, Germany, Korea, Japan and China.  In 2003 he represented Wales at the Venice Biennale of Art and in 1997 won the Irish Museum of Modern Art/Glen Dimplex Prize. He is represented by the Kerlin Gallery Dublin.