Portrait of a Community – Features of a Land

Portrait of a Community – Features of a Land is the first phase of a new commission by Cameroonian artist and photographer Yvon Ngassam.

This exhibition presents portraits of inhabitants of Lolodorf – a south province of Cameroon located in the Ocean division –, everyday scenes, and landscapes captured by Ngassam during a first visit in August 2021.

The exhibition opens with portraits of local patriarchs whose gaze plunges us into local knowledge, as well as the history and living memory of Lolodorf. To these are added landscapes showing the verdant nature of the region, architectures inherited from German (1884-1916) and French (1916-1960) colonisation, or even more abstract images revealing isolated shapes, such as a window or the structure of a wall. The dynamism of human activity is represented through market and street scenes, as well as nocturnal wanderings.

Portrait of a Community – Features of a Land translates the first impressions of a photographer unfamiliar with Lolodorf. Thus, his work shows scenes and places to which the inhabitants are so accustomed that they become invisible. Ngassam’s images invite us to take a new look at these moments and places, reframed through the photographic prism. They compel us to read the beauty and the poetry that exist in this semi-rural town which make it, and its inhabitants, a source of artistic creation previously unimagined.

Echoing Ngassam’s photographs, a series of archive images will be exhibited. These will be the topic of future research on the history of Lolodorf.

Beyond the city as a photographic subject, this project also aims to foster local talents and give inhabitants the opportunity to reflect on questions of photographic representation though portraiture or images of one’s direct environment. To this end, Yvon Ngassam will give a photographic workshop to a group of young people from Lolodorf. The images produced will be presented as part of Youth Day.

Portrait of a Community – Features of a Land is curated by Christine Eyene assisted by Yves-Xavier Ndounda, and organised in collaboration with Lolodorf City Council.

This event launches Bikoka Art Project, a new initiative developed by Christine Eyene in Bikoka (Lolodorf), dedicated to supporting artistic and professional opportunities for youth and women in the field of contemporary art. The exhibition is part of Yaounde Photo Network’s programme of events.

Portrait of a Community – Features of a Land

Opening: Friday 11 February 2022, 6.00 pm -10.00 pm

The exhibition continues until Friday, February 25

Municipal Foyer

Lolodorf

Cameroon

For more information on the exhibition and Bikoka Art Project, visit www.eyonart.com or email contact@eyonart.com.

For any information concerning your visit to Lolodorf, contact Lolodorf City Council:

Tel: 06 99 00 65 57 or email: communelolodorf@gmail.com.

Cover image © Yvon Ngassam