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Photo by O'kiins Howara

"African Créative," 2020.

Spotlight: O'kiins Howara Creates Technicolor Images of His Surroundings With a Smartphone

Get familiar with the work of the Ivorian photographer and visual artist O'kiins Howara.

In our 'Spotlight' series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists and more who are producing vibrant, original work. In our latest piece, we spotlight Ouattara Moussa Idriss Mahaman also known as O'kiins Howara, a self-taught Ivorian photographer and visual artist who works exclusively with his smartphone to bring bright, fashion-forward depictions of Africans to life. Read more about the inspirations behind his work below, and check out some of his stunning images underneath. Be sure to keep up with the artist on Instagram and Twitter.


Their responses have have been edited for length and clarity.

Describe your background as an artist briefly and what led you to become a photographer?

As an artist I touch on several artistic domains: music, drawing, writing, but I did not consider myself an artist until I discovered a love for photos. What led me to photography, I would say, is my way of conceiving things, I wanted to bring to life what I made in my mind.

What are the central themes in your work?

The central theme in my work is often to [express] the beauty of Africa through its cultural riches. I also denounce certain evils that affect society.

Can you talk about how you use and interpret color in your work?

Colors are for me an essential element for the beauty and the originality of the photo, I use color to bring life to the photo.

How has the current pandemic affected you as a creator?

It has not affected my work that much, but it should be noted however, that there is less contact with the outside world. Since I often work with other models and props, I can't have all the accessories I want, as well as all the [other] elements necessary for the composition. But I try to do my best to always create.

"False System," 2019

Photo by O'kiins Howara

"Breath," 2020.

Photo by O'kiins Howara

"Color," 2019.

Photo by O'kiins Howara

"Behind M'y self," 2020

Photo by O'kiins Howara

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Photo by Rachel Seidu.

#EndSARS: Security Forces Open Deadly Fire on Protesting Nigerians

Nigerian security forces have reportedly opened fire on protesters at Lekki Toll Gate amid continued demonstrations against police brutality. This comes after the Nigerian government recently enforced an abrupt curfew in Lagos.

It has been reported that security forces in Nigeria have opened fire on protestors at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos. Several reports from various media outlets have confirmed this incident after numerous images and videos emerged on social media. The footage reveals protesters running away from security forces as they fire live rounds into the crowds while others have been shown to be injured. No fatalities have as yet been officially confirmed by mainstream media. Protesters have continued mass demonstrations against the infamous Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) which has been now been "rebranded" by the Nigerian government to a new unit termed the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT).

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How Davido's 'FEM' Became the Unlikely #EndSARS Protest Anthem

When Nigerian youth shout the line "Why everybody come dey para, para, para, para for me" at protests, it is an act of collective rebellion and rage, giving flight to our anger against the police officers that profile young people, the bureaucracy that enables them, and a government that appears lethargic.