Digital Africa – Tokyo

YaPhoto is pleased to announce the participants of Digital Africa – Tokyo, a screening of videos by 12 African and Diaspora artists, Saturday 12 August at OGU MAG gallery.

The artists were selected from an open call launched last June as part of the year-long programme of events and international collaborations developed by YaPhoto, Cameroon’s platform for photography and lens-based art practices.

The Tokyo screening will present works by emerging talents and established artists: Mounir Allaoui (France), Ruy Cézar Campos (Brazil), Rehema Chachage (Tanzania), Edem Dotse (Ghana) & SUTRA (UK), Megan-Leigh Heilig (South Africa), Mouna Jemal Siala (Tunisia), Lebohang Kganye (South Africa), Emo de Medeiros (Benin/France), Lemia Monet Bodden (USA), Tiécoura N’daou (Mali) and Amine Oulmakki (Morocco). The videos range from experimental and non-narrative to pieces addressing topics such as history, migration, religion, race and gender.

Presented in two parts, the screening will begin with Dama (2015), a Dogon ceremony filmed by Tiécoura N’daou while Amine Oulmakki’s Oxygène (2015) presenting 9 submerged video portraits convey the idea of water as an element essential to life but also a potential source of asphyxiation.
Forming part of a triptych addressing the rise of obscurantism in Tunisia, Mouna Jemal Siala’s Le Fils (2015) is a visual metaphor of a mother’s fear of losing her son to indoctrination. Rehema Chachage’s Flower (2014) and Mounir Allaoui’s Koif (2013)  speak to the politics behind body care and aesthetics: from the henna ritual that contributes to persisting patriarchal oppression and objectification of women’s bodies, to the narrative inscribed within black hair. This first part will end with Edem Dotse & SUTRA’s two-part experimental music film Waves/The Water (2017) exploring notions of God, womanhood, identity, spirituality, suffering and healing.

In part two, Emo de Medeiros Kaleta/Kaleta (2016) and Ruy César Campos Entangled Landing Points (2017) highlight interconnections between Africa and South America from common cultures inherited from slavery to contemporary global networks and infrastructures. Departing from the transatlantic legacy, N’daou’s Les Naufragés de la Méditerranée (2015) evokes moments of hesitations before ‘diving’ into the Mediterranean in search for the European Eldorado, while Allaoui’s M’Pambé register the ‘casual’ occurrence of under-aged domestic workers in the Comoros.
Lebohang Kganye’s animations Pied Piper’s Voyage (2014) and Ke sale teng (2017) revisit her family history and archive to retrace and reinterpret both personal and collective histories. By performing a male character (her grandfather) she is symbolising the roles black South African women had to take on during apartheid because of absent male figures.
Lemia Monet Bodden’s Glance (2014) draws on personal experience to create the tableau of a black woman’s loneliness within an urban landscape. The screening will conclude with Megan-Leigh Heilig’s short film Everything Will Be Alright (2017), taking the viewers on a journey in the city of Cape Town, with a particular focus on mobility, sexuality and race.

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Digital Africa (Tokyo): Saturday 12 Aug, 5.00-7.00 pm.

This screening is part of YaPhoto@Arakawa Africa, a collaborative three-day event organised by Arakawa Africa, OGU MAG, YaPhoto and Making Histories Visible (University of Central Lancashire).

The programme also includes:

Thur 10 Aug, 6.00 – 8.00pm: opening reception of exhibition by Cameroonian photographers Romuald Dikoume, Blaise Djilo, Max Mbakop, Steve Mvondo and Yvon Ngassam.

Fri 11 Aug, 6.00 – 8:00pm: curator’s talk with Christine Eyene.

YaPhoto@Arakawa Africa
10-11-12 August 2017

For further information please contact:
Hideko Saito on

4-24-7 Higashiogu
Tokyo 116-0012

View images of the exhibition YaPhoto@Arakawa Africa and press articles here.


Yaphoto 2017: Picturing the present

YaPhoto, in partnership with OTHNI, is pleased to announce YaPhoto 2017 a series of events taking place in Yaounde (Cameroon) from 27 November to 2 December 2017. The programme will include a photography exhibition, video art screenings, a panel discussion, a research seminar and portfolio reviews. Conceived as an ‘expo-lab’ and creative hub installed at OTHNI – a Yaounde-based multidisciplinary art space – this edition concludes the pilot phase of the Cameroonian photography platform before the project moves on to its next stage.

Entitled Picturing the Present, the proposed theme seeks to examine the local photographic gaze, question image-making processes and address the gaps between society and visual representation through the work of Cameroonian photographers Romuald Dikoumé, Blaise Djilo, Wilfried Nakeu, Yvon Ngassam and Sarah Tchouatcha (France/Cameroon). Collectively, their practices range from performative photography to a documentation of Cameroonian contemporary cultures and society.

This year will also mark a focus on arts from the Indian Ocean facilitated by the Frac Réunion (Regional Fund for Contemporary Art, Reunion Island) with Émeutes by Anne Fontaine from Reunion Island, an installation of kaleidoscopic images printed on fabric exploring the aesthetics of social unrest while conjuring wax motifs, their colonial history and trajectories across Indonesia, Europe and Africa. The programme will also include a special screening of British-based Mauritian artist Shiraz Bayjoo’s film Île de France, an immersive non-narrative piece, focusing on objects, architecture and environments that act as historical images or documents revealing encounters between Mauritius and its colonial past. Another highlight will be Mounir Allaoui’s short videos in part exploring his Comorian heritage.

OTHNI and Musée la Blackitude will be the venues of two evenings of video art with selections from the Digital Africa screenings previously hosted in London in collaboration with Open Source, and Tokyo with OGU MAG as part of the Arakawa Africa 8 pre-events. YaPhoto’s video art component aims to create a dialogue between local practitioners and audiences, and African and Diaspora video artists whose works explore personal or collective narratives in an aesthetic, experimental, or documentary manner.
The selected artists are: Ruy Cézar Campos (Brazil), Rehema Chachage (Tanzania), Tamara Dawit (Canada), Edem Dotse (Ghana) & SUTRA (UK), Cecilia Ferreira (South Africa), Megan-Leigh Heilig (South Africa), Onyeka Igwe (UK), Mouna Jemal Siala (Tunisia), Emo de Medeiros (Benin-France), Tiécoura N’daou (Mali), Danielle WaKyengo O’Neill (South Africa), Yvon Ngassam (Cameroon), Jean-Baptiste Nyabyenda (Rwanda), Saïd Raïs (Morocco) and Breeze Yoko (South Africa).
The videos include short documentaries dealing with cultural heritage, gender, identity, history, activism as well as aesthetics, visual narratives, sound and music.

In addition to this, is planned a panel discussion on the state of Cameroonian photography locally, on the continent, and in relation to the global scene. Scheduled speakers include Madeleine Mbida (co-founder of Nkongsamba Photography Festival), Rodrig Mbock (photographer, graphic designer and co-founder of Kamera collective and  4×4 project), Yvon Ngassam (photographer), Parfait Tabapsi (founding editor of Mosaïques magazine) who will be joining Christine Eyene (co-founder of YaPhoto). Furthermore, a call for local photographers will be made to attend programmed portfolio reviews, followed by a research seminar on Cameroonian photography history and contemporary practices aimed at photographers, research students and art writers.

For the first time, YaPhoto will also include an associate programme with a workshop and exhibition of images by high school pupils entitled Grand Angle sur le Quotidien au Lycée (Wide Angle on everyday life in high school) at Lycée Fustel de Coulanges (18 Nov – 1st Dec), a programme proposed by Sarah Tchouatcha.
Tchouatcha will also present Invariables a solo exhibition curated by Yves Chatap at Institut Français du Cameroun, Yaounde (4 – 22 Dec).

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YaPhoto 2017: Picturing the Present
Monday 27 Nov – Saturday 2 Dec 2017
OTHNI and Musée la Blackitude, Yaounde

Associate Programme
Grand Angle sur le Quotidien au Lycée
Lycée Fustel de Coulanges, Yaounde, 18 Nov – 1 Dec 2017

Invariables exhibition by Sarah Tchouatcha
Institut Français du Cameroun, Yaounde, 4 – 22 Dec 2017

YaPhoto 2017 programme of events is curated by Christine Eyene, Research Fellow of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan, Preston). Eyene is also curator of the Summer of Photography 2018 at Bozar, Brussels, and Artistic Director of the 4th International Biennial of Casablanca 2018.

This edition is made possible with support from the Making Histories Visible project (UCLan), OTHNI – Laboratoire de Théâtre de Yaoundé, Frac – Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain, Réunion; and partnerships with Open Source, OGU MAG, Musée la Blackitude, Al Krist and


Yaphoto@Arakawa Africa

Arakawa Africa, OGU MAG and YaPhoto – Yaounde Photo Network, in collaboration with Making Histories Visible (University of Central Lancashire) are pleased to announce YaPhoto@Arakawa Africa, a three-day event on Cameroonian photography and video art from Africa and the Diaspora.

Organised as a pre-event to Arakawa Africa, an annual art project bridging the African presence in Tokyo’s Arakawa ward with cultures from the continent, YaPhoto@Arakawa Africa will consist of a photography exhibition, video art screenings and an illustrated talk by Christine Eyene, co-founder of YaPhoto.

The exhibition will feature Romuald Dikoume, Blaise Djilo, Max Mbakop, Steve Mvondo and Yvon Ngassam, five Cameroonian photographers never exhibited in Japan before. Romuald Dikoume’s work in progress is a visual experiment involving protagonists performing scenes of pre-colonial times. Excerpts from Blaise Djilo’s series Feou Kake (2016) will present out of the ordinary figures taking part in a traditional harvest celebration in the Northern part of Cameroon. Max Mbakop series on roller-skate and BMX will show one aspect of urban culture in Douala. Steve Mvondo’s Crown of Beauty (2016) is an exquisite series of studio portraits of women wearing headwraps, an important signifier within black female politics of representation. Yvon Ngassam, who is currently exhibiting at the 2nd Changjiang International Photography and Video Biennale (China), will invite visitors to discover the town of Bandjoun, in Western Cameroon, through amazing rural and urban landscapes, cultural heritage, portraits and various scenes.

In addition to the photography exhibition will be programmed Digital Africa (Tokyo) a new iteration of the video art screening first presented in London last May in collaboration with Open Source and Vortex. An open call invited artists from Africa and the Diaspora to submit video pieces focusing on aesthetic forms, sonic components and experimental video editing translating visual cultures and experiences, as well as collective or personal narratives, beyond the language barrier.

Finally, Christine Eyene will introduce YaPhoto to the public and discuss Cameroonian photography in relation to the broader context of Africa and the global art scene. Christine Eyene is a French-Cameroonian art historian, critic and curator based in the UK. She is a Research Fellow in Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire and is also writing a thesis on South African photographer George Hallett at Birkbeck, University of London.

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YaPhoto@Arakawa Africa
10-11-12 August 2017

Exhibition opening reception: Thur 10 Aug, 6.00 pm – 8:00pm
Curator’s talk with Christine Eyene: Fri 11 Aug, 6.00 pm – 8:00pm
Screening Digital Africa (Tokyo): Saturday 12 Aug, 5.00-7.00 pm

Gallery opening times: 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm (closing at 7:00 pm on Sat 12 Aug).

For further information please contact:
Hideko Saito at

4-24-7 Higashiogu
Tokyo 116-0012

View images of the exhibition YaPhoto@Arakawa Africa and press articles here.

About the organisers:

YaPhoto – Yaounde Photo Network is an independent photography platform co-founded by curators Christine Eyene and Landry Mbassi. Launched in September 2016, it consists of a website, workshops, and a programme of events focusing on lens-based art practices (photography and video) in Cameroon and internationally.

OGU MAG is a gallery space founded in May 2010, located in Arakawa ward, Tokyo, an area where craftsmen still live and work. The space exhibits diverse artworks, from traditional crafts by regional craftsmen to contemporary art. It also holds workshops and lectures, and aims to develop as a place of reflection and interaction between the arts and the local area. (Japanese) (English)

Making Histories Visible is an interdisciplinary visual art research project based at the Centre for Contemporary Art (School of Art, Design and Fashion), University of Central Lancashire. The project is led by Turner Prize 2017 nominee Lubaina Himid MBE, Professor of Contemporary Art, supported by Christine Eyene, Research Fellow in Contemporary Art.

Arakawa Africa is a comprehensive annual art event started in 2010 in Arakawa ward, Tokyo. It consists of exhibitions, residency programs, artists’ talks and more. Arakawa Africa aims to highlight the African presence in Arakawa through art, and create cross-cultural exchanges.


Digital Africa

Open Source and YaPhoto are pleased to announce Digital Africa, an evening projection of works by 14 African and Diaspora video artists and documentary filmmakers on Thursday 25 May at the Vortex, London.

The artists and filmmakers were selected from an open call launched last March as part of the year-long programme of events and international collaborations developed by YaPhoto, Cameroon’s platform for photography and lens-based art practices.

The London screening will present videos by: Paolo Azevedo (Angola), Bruna Cafurica (UK/Sweden), Tamara Dawit (Canada), Edem Dotse (Ghana) & SUTRA (UK), Megan-Leigh Heilig (South Africa), Onyeka Igwe (UK), Wilfried Nakeu (Cameroon), Danielle WaKyengo O’Neill (South Africa), Jean Baptiste Nyabyenda (Rwanda), Amine Oulmakki (Morocco) and Breeze Yoko (South Africa).

The works selected include short documentaries dealing with cultural heritage, gender, identity, history and activism, as well as videos focusing on aesthetics, visual narratives, sound and music.

Onyeka Igwe’s We need new names (2015) is a video essay examining how a diasporic identity can be formed and performed through the inherent contradictions of an ethnographic reading of a traditional Igbo funeral, using both fiction and archive to explore home, identity, blackness and cultural memory. Tamara Dawit’s Grandma Knows Best (2015) and Jean-Baptiste Nyabyenda’s Zura Taekwondo Fighter (2016) both feature protagonists challenging gender expectations. Danielle WaKyengo O’Neill’s videos Crowning (2016) and Stale (2016-2017) respectively look at the politics of black hair and interrogate white male identity in South Africa. Breeze Yoko’s Biko’s Children (2007) revisits the legacy of Steve Biko (1946-1977) in South Africa’s urban culture, as this year marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of the Black Consciousness leader.

Aesthetic research and music permeate Edem Dotse & SUTRA’s Waves/The Water (2017), Bruna Cafurica’s African Medusa (2017) and Paolo Azevedo’s Kazukuta 365º (2012). Megan-Leigh Heilig’s The Day The Sun Did Not Rise (2017) is a sarcastic take on the current climate of Islamophobia, terrorist rhetoric, and the culture of fear cultivated by global news channels. Amine Oulmakki’s Oxygène (2015) is an installation project presenting 9 submerged video portraits depicting water as a prime element, essential to life, but also a potential source of asphyxiation. The event will conclude with Wilfried Nakeu’s Hybrid Hypnosis (2017), a 20-minute immersive sound and visual experiment taking the audience on a promenade across Yaounde’s life, arts and sonic environments.

Additionally, the Yaounde screening scheduled next November during YaPhoto 2017 will also feature Mounir Allaoui (France), Yvon Ngassam (Cameroon) and Saïd Raïs (Morocco).

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Digital Africa video screening is curated by Christine Eyene as part of YaPhoto 2017: Picturing the Present, in partnership with Open Source and Making Histories Visible (University of Central Lancashire).

For further information, contact:

Read the Press release Digital Africa (PDF)

Thursday 25 May, 7.00pm – 10pm
Free event, no booking required
Please note: Vortex is not wheelchair accessible.

11 Gillett Square
London N16 8AZ

View map

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YaPhoto#0: Ce que nous voyons

YaPhoto#0: Ce que nous voyons, édition pilote de YaPhoto – Yaounde Photo Network, nouvelle plateforme photographique camerounaise basée à Yaoundé, s’est déroulée du 14 au 26 novembre 2016.

Le programme a débuté avec un atelier au Goethe-Institut Kamerun du 14 au 18 novembre. Centré sur l’interprétation d’image et l’écriture critique, cet atelier mené par l’historienne de l’art et critique Christine Eyene a rassemblé un groupe de critiques d’art et étudiants camerounais sélectionnés sur appel à candidatures parmis lesquels: Martin Anguissa, Madeleine Mbida, Edwige Larissa Mimboe Ngamanga, Patrick Ngouana Nkenne, Hassan Njoya, Monica Nkodo, Odile Pahai, Serges Tcheumeni, Claudel Tchinda, ainsi que Landry Mbassi et Aude Mgba de l’équipe YaPhoto.

De gauche à droite en partant du fond: Aude Mgba, Odile Pahai, Christine Eyene, Martin Anguissa, Claudel Tchinda, Hassan Njoya, Patrick Ngouana Nkenne, Monica Nkodo, Landry Mbassi, Edwige Larissa Mimboe Ngamanga, Madeleine Mbida, Serges Tcheumeni. Crédit photo: Goethe-Institut Kamerun.

Ont été abordé l’histoire de la photographie et les pratiques contemporaines dans une perspective globale avec un intérêt particulier pour la photographie africaine et de la diaspora, leurs esthétiques, styles, techniques et réception critique.
À la suite de cet atelier sera mis en place un système d’échange autour de textes de référence sur la photographie et un soutien rédactionnel.


Crédit photo: Goethe-Institut Kamerun

Le deuxième volet de YaPhoto#0 fut consacré à l’exposition Ce que nous voyons, accompagnée d’une série d’événements publics.
Présentée au Musée la Blackitude du 21 au 26 novembre et conservant son esprit “pilote” à travers des impressions laser et tirages lambda, Ce que nous voyons consistait en un geste curatorial, une mise en espace, une visualisation ou préfiguration d’une exposition qui, dans sa version finale, pourrait être à l’identique tout comme elle pourrait connaître certaines modifications.

C’est à la suite d’un atelier tenu en juillet 2016 avec des photographes locaux qu’est né le titre de ce projet. Ce que nous voyons fait état d’un regard local traduisant les préoccupations thématiques et esthétiques développées par les photographes participants. C’est-à-dire qu’il ne s’agissait pas d’un thème les menant à répondre à une attente curatoriale. Il fut plutôt question d’un point de rencontre entre des considérations visuelles et conceptuelles communes ou convergentes.

Ce titre fait aussi référence à Ce que nous voyons, Ce qui nous regarde (1992) du philosophe et historien de l’art français Georges Didi-Huberman dans lequel il aborde, entre autres, la question d’expérience visuelle et la dialectique de l’image.

Ainsi trouvions-nous sur les murs de la Blackitude Contempler de l’Autre Côté de Samo Seymo (Cameroun) saisissant les reflets de personnages sur l’eau, et les déformations conférant à ses figures un aspect sculptural, s’apparentant parfois à des formes peintes. Crown of Beauty de Steve Mvondo (Cameroun) explorait quant à elle la beauté féminine dans des portraits de femmes à la tête ornée d’un foulard.

À l’intention curatoriale s’ajoutait le souhaît d’intégrer le texte. Celui-ci traversait l’œuvre de Blaise Djilo (Cameroun) à travers la mosquée et l’école coranique de N’Gaoundéré, toutes deux soumises aux préceptes du texte sacré. Il en allait de même pour la série Liberté d’Expression de Babacar Traoré (Sénégal), prise au hasard de ses déambulations dans Rufisque et la Médina. Ces murs remplis d’inscriptions et de graffiti rappelant parfois Dubuffet et l’art brut sont “le support d’un langage souvent abstrait et anonyme. Ils disent tout haut ce que certains cachent dans leur cœur” nous explique Traoré.

Enfin, c’est une écriture cinématographique que l’on retrouvait chez Amine Oulmakki (Maroc). Intérieur/Nuit consiste en Saynètes d’un théâtre du réel. Les images qu’il donne à voir sont soigneusement élaborées et construites à partir de références qui renvoient souvent aux récits de sa propre histoire. Souvenirs d’enfance, récits familiaux teintés d’imaginaires populaires et de traditions. Ses scènes sont comme des plans fixes synthétisant ce que le cinéma étend dans un système narratif qui lui est propre.

En plus des lectures de portfolios proposées le mardi 22 au Musée la Blackitude, une conversation eut lieu le mercredi 23 entre Christine Eyene et Landry Mbassi, co-fondateurs de YaPhoto dans le but d’introduire le projet au public, de parler du thème de cette édition, de présenter l’oeuvre des artistes et d’aborder les perspectives de la photographie au Cameroun et à l’international.

Pour conclure les festivités, jeudi 24 le Maeva Ea Lounge fut l’hôte de Clubbin’ Africa, soirée projection et musique dédiée aux images du monde de la nuit en Afrique avec un focus sur l’œuvre de Patrick Wokmeni (Cameroun/Belgique), David Kadoule (Togo) et Andrew Esiebo (Nigéria).

En savoir plus sur les photographes participants.

Cliquez sur une image pour voir cette sélection en galerie photo.

YaPhoto#0: Ce que nous voyons fut commissariée par Christine Eyene en collaboration avec Landry Mbassi et Aude Mgba.

Edition réalisée en partenariat et avec le soutien de :

Making Histories Visible (University of Central Lancashire)
Goethe-Institut Kamerun
Musée la Blackitude
Maeva Ea Lounge
OTHNI – Laboratoire de Théâtre de Yaoundé

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