Photos
From 'Weke' by Namsa Leuba.

This Stunning Photo Series Captures the Mystery and Beauty of Benin’s Voodoo Tradition

Swiss-Guinean photographer Namsa Leuba's new photo series challenges how the western gaze views African traditional religions.

Weke, a new photographic series by Swiss-Guinean art director and photographer Namsa Leuba, offers an intimate view into the voodoo religion and animist practices of the Republic of Benin. Leuba's portrayal results in "images based on contents of the local context which take a new form of life, rooted in artistic aesthetics and fantasy."

The artist lived in Benin, the birthplace of voodoo, for two-and-a-half months, participating in different ceremonies and rituals with voodoo priests for research into the religion. She portrays a concept of voodoo which "cannot be depicted visually," according to her artist statement. Leuba tells OkayAfrica she attempted to make the invisible to make it visible: "I show a fiction vision, different unreal and surrealist scenes with poetry and delicacy."

The title 'Weke' translates to "the visible and invisible universe, all things created, living, breathing or not" in Benin local language. Leuba's camera is also transformative in producing striking digital photography derived from ritual practice and ancient spiritual customs.

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Culture
Photo by Emeka Okereke

The Trans-African Road Trip Is Where Adventure, Art and Social Activism Meet

The founder of Invisible Borders tells us how African artists can get involved in their annual road trip across the continent.

There are very few times in our lives when we can take months to travel with like-minded people, work on passion projects, and produce art that impacts communities in the process. This is the valuable, yet rare experience that Lagos-based nonprofit organization, Invisible Borders offers with its yearly Trans-African Road Trip.

Created in 2009, the one-of-a-kind program, led by Nigerian photographer, filmmaker, writer and Invisible Borders' founder Emeka Okereke, offers a group of African artists, photographers, writers, filmmakers and more, a unique opportunity to tell stories through a totally immersive experience.

The most ambitious trip yet saw 10 artists on an intercontinental journey from Lagos all the way to Sarajevo, a trip that led them to re-examine the dangerous paths that African migrants take to reach Europe. The next expedition will be from Lagos to Maputo, and it may prove to be the most challenging trip yet.

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