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Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie

Young and emerging female photographers from Côte d'Ivoire are

Meet Four Women Pushing Ivorian Art Forward Through Photography

These young and emerging female photographers from Côte d'Ivoire are shaking up Abidjan's art scene.

There's been a tremendous amount of awe-inspiring art coming from the African continent lately. Photography is no exception. It is one of the most powerful tools used in changing the way in which the West perceives Africa and its diaspora and perhaps the reason why contemporary photography is thriving.

The female gaze is paramount to the way in which the aforementioned visual stories are told and the female photographers here are using their camera lenses to give us glimpses of lands, peoples, histories, and futures unknown. Their individual experiences and perspectives are widening the scope of what is believed to be Côte d'Ivoire. Within the country's capital, Abidjan, there's a creative scene that seems to have sprawled up out of nowhere yet is so rich in its offerings.


Akobs


Ivorian Marie Jeanne Akobe, better known as Akobs, is a food, product, and interior photographer Photo: Courtesy of Akobs


Ivorian Marie Jeanne Akobe, better known as Akobs, is a food, product, and interior photographer Photo: Courtesy of Akobs


Ivorian Marie Jeanne Akobe, better known as Akobs, is a food, product, and interior photographer Photo: Courtesy of Akobs

Ivorian Marie Jeanne Akobe, better known as Akobs, is the food, product, and interior photographer whose postgraduate study of marketing affirmed the importance of imagery as a means of selling. Where day-to-day life inspires her street photography, her visits to markets inspire her knack for flat lay food and product photography. A jack of many trades or rather a hustler, she even creates enticing visuals that make onlookers want to visit restaurants and buy homes for sale. Her approach is one centered around stylizing things typically consumed in her West African home but that aren't easy to put on display like galettes. It's a response to a problem prevalent all around the continent. Furthermore, her penchant for colors in the distinct niche she's carved for herself is making people stop and take notice.


Aïcha Fall

Ivorian-Senegalese Aïcha Fall is an iPhone photographer and autodidactPhoto: Courtesy of Aïcha Fall


Ivorian-Senegalese A\u00efcha Fall is an iPhone photographer and autodidact Photo: Courtesy of Aïcha Fall


Ivorian-Senegalese A\u00efcha Fall is an iPhone photographer and autodidact Photo: Courtesy of Aïcha Fall

Ivorian-Senegalese Aïcha Fall is an iPhone photographer and autodidact whose work bridges a gap between her identity, her culture, and her traditions. She's enamoured with such themes as the Black woman and the beauty of the communities she calls home. There lies great strength and originality in the whimsical scenes she puts on display. A creative bursting with ideas—more often than not, she uses things she scrappily finds around her to create magic. She excels at using very little to document that which surrounds her. Her work is also the result of spending copious amounts of time carefully observing. Beyond her website, social media provides her the perfect platform to tell her stories and brands like Vogue Italy are taking notice.

Noella Elloh

Noella Elloh is a visual artist and digital strategistPhoto: Courtesy of Noella Elloh


Noella Elloh is a visual artist and digital strategist Photo: Courtesy of Noella Elloh


Noella Elloh is a visual artist and digital strategist Photo: Courtesy of Noella Elloh

Noella Elloh is the visual artist and digital strategist behind "Weaving Generations", a fall 2019 photo series that poetically tackles the issue of environmental ruin in Côte d'Ivoire.

In 2016, after obtaining her master's in environmental communication at the University of Quebec at Montreal, she returned to Abidjan and set out to tell unwritten stories.

With her camera, she explores identity, heritage, and climate change so as to educate viewers about such things as how urbanization affects the livelihoods of modern-day fishermen. She creates what she calls visual poetry playing with light and color.

Saphir Niakadie

Ivorian-American Saphir Niakadie's work connects her homeland and the diaspora Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie


Ivorian-American Saphir Niakadie's work connects her homeland and the diaspora Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie


Saphir Niakadie's work connects her homeland and the diaspora Photo: Courtesy of Saphir Niakadie

When Saphir Niakadie was younger, she bought a camera as a means of replicating what she saw—with age came a voice more focused on concepts and storytelling rooted in exploring the human experience. Today, her fervor for human emotions nurtures how she effectively makes the viewers of her work experience what she captures. Saphir's work connects her homeland and the diaspora—it's black bodies in motion and poignant portraiture aimed at creating a new African narrative. She has taken this new narrative with her in partnerships with Keds, DSW, and homegrown magazine, Milc, and has been featured in Nylon, Vogue, and on Blavity.

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Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

How You Can Help Nigeria’s #EndSARS Protests

We round up some ways you can support the movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

Widespread protests against Nigeria's notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are becoming more of a revolution. The movement is an outcry from youths demanding a general reform of the country, majorly characterized by poor governance, with a focus on the harassment and assaults committed by SARS. The movement has been raging through the city of Lagos for the past three weeks, as protesters home and abroad have taken to the streets in masses to express their keen dissatisfaction.

Hashtags like #EndSARS, #EndPoliceBrutality, and #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria have brandished across all social media platforms to amplify the voices of the youth people fighting back. These hashtags have, in turn, gained traction with the help of celebrities like singers Rihanna, Demi Lovato, and Beyoncé, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and many others. Nigerian stars, Falz, Runtown, Tiwa Savage, Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, and many more also joined in the movement, as many of them took to the streets with placards.

To date, the peacefully protesting Nigerians' needs have not been met. With said needs not being satisfied as they demand justice for lives lost due to the brutal and corrupt practices of police officers.

We have rounded up some ways you can support this movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

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