Photography: shifting the focus

The annual Contemporary African Photography Prize recognizes images that engage with Africa or its diaspora. Here, we present images from 2022’s five winners.

The World Today Published 3 August 2022 Updated 27 October 2022 1 minute READ
Black-and-white urban street scene in Madagascar with two young boys posing in the foreground, their heads digitally removed from the image

From the series ‘Sarotava’, by Mahefa Dimbiniaina Randrianarivelo
‘Sarotava’ means ‘mask’ in Malagasy, the language of Madagascar where Randrianarivelo was born in 1991 and still lives. Each portrait subject in the series is headless, a comment, says Randrianarivelo, on the lot of the Malagasy people; life there is like ‘the middle ages, yet you have access to the technology of the contemporary world’.

Portrait of a schoolgirl in uniform sitting sideways on a chair, the wall behind her decorated with mauve flower petals

From the series ‘Kakenya’s Dream’, by Lee-Ann Olwage
Born in 1986, the South African photographer worked with girls from Kakenya’s Dream, a Kenyan educational nonprofit that empowers girls in order to end harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation.

Self-portrait photograph of Egyptian photographer Amina Kadous in a veil holding a bunch of flowers in the dark of her grandmother's old kitchen

From the series ‘White Gold’, by Amina Kadous
The Cairo-based photographer explores her family’s long history in Egypt’s famous textiles trade: ‘I see myself in cotton’s journey [and] the legacies of my grandparents and my own country’s eroding history.’

Photo portrait of a woman in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, her left eye towards the camera, her right eye obscured by a Covid-style mask pulled obliquely over her face

From the series ‘Double identity’, by Pamela Tulizo
Born in 1993 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tulizo uses actors, mannequins and dancers to reveal the strength and beauty of the women of Goma and Kivu province, rejecting the wider world’s representation of them as victims.

Blurred close-up portrait of a woman with a face garishly made up in heavy blue foundation, red lipstick, orange eyelids and blonde hair

From the series ‘Lip Service’, by Remofiloe Nomandla Mayisela
Born in 1994, the South African lens-based artist uses her experience as a ‘makoti’ (bride) to question why women’s bodies are ‘for consumption’ while they themselves are assigned to the kitchen.