Spotlight: 'Weaving Generations' Confronts Environmental Destruction in Côte d'Ivoire
The photo series, by artist Noella Elloh, advocates for collective responsibility around the "environmental question" across the continent by highlighting the threat it poses to a village of fishermen in Abidjan.
Noella Elloh is an Ivorian photographer and contemporary visual artist whose work contemplates identity, culture, environment and the role each play's in the stories of people across the continent.
Her latest work "Weaving Generations" centers on members of the fishing village of Blokosso, located in the center of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire's largest city. According to the artist, its themes include familial ties, urbanization, and the hazardous effects of environmental degradation, an issue that directly impacts the fishermen's livelihoods. "Today, instead of fishes, the fishermen's nets thrown in the water come back up with waste," says Elloh. "The Ebrie fishermen find themselves with the mesh of their nets torn down by scrap metal. Domestic, chemical, and Industrial wastes are also found in their nets. The depth of the lagoon decreases due to sedimentation. Rising waters are gradually making pieces of the land disappear."
In the series, Elloh constantly uses the mirror as both an object and metaphor to address our relationship to the environment and the realties of those she photographs. "The mirror is linked with the concept of responsibility, in a sense that whatever we throw in the Laguna will surely come back at the borders just like karma," Elloh says. She recently displayed her work during exhibitions in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, where she says the mirror played a major role in how attendees perceived the photographs and installations. "During the installation and the exhibition, it was interesting to take a look at the work and also see your own reflection. It's a collective responsibility, a collective issue, we are all concerned about the environmental question."
"Why do we dream?" by Noella Elloh
"Fatchuè" ("generations" in the Ebrié Langage) by Noella Elloh
"Reflet et réflexions" by Noella Elloh
"Silent Dream II" by Noella Elloh
"Who do you see?" by Noella Elloh
"Nuit de mailles" by Noella Elloh
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