Artist Spotlight

Laeila Adjovi: From Documentary to Art

Laeila Adjovi is a French-Beninese photographer who grew up in several African countries. She started her photography journey at 20 years old when she interned at an Indian NGO. Since then she trained herself through journalistic endeavors, reporting social issues around the world. But the themes she loves are those pertaining to the daily life of those living in the continent of Africa.

Alongside her journalistic approach to photography, Adjovi experimented with a more artistic approach with her camera as well as in the darkroom. Her documentary photographs are stunning in their own rights, but she truly shines when she creates conceptual art.

Her series with fellow photographer Loïc Hoquet, titles Malaïka Dotou Sankofa, won the Leopold-Sédar-Senghor Grand Prix, the top prize for the Dakar Bienalle of Contemporary Art. It’s a stunning series that comments on how the media portrays Africa.

The series is built with layers upon layers of symbolism finished with an impeccable aesthetic sheen. An androgynously-dressed model bears wings made of fabrics created by the Baye Fall Muslim religious community in Senegal. It is a poignant commentary on how the African body is often hidden or manipulated to fit the mold of Western society.

Accompanying the work is writing by Adjovi which can be read in full on her website here.

You can see more of Laeila Adjovi’s works on her website:

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