Photos
Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Gabonese Photographer Yannis Davy Guibinga Shares a Magical Photo Series On Dealing with Grief

"The Grief" is a stunning photo series that is a reflection on a life experience many of us know too well.

Yannis Davy Guibinga is a 23-year-old Gabonese photographer whose work focuses on exploring the diversity of identities and cultures on the African continent and its diaspora.

Guibinga, who works and lives in Montréal, Canada, shared with OkayAfrica an otherworldly photo series titled The Grief. In this series, he explores the all too common life moment of loss and the subsequent process that comes with it.

In his artist statement on the project, he explains:

Every human life is marked by different events that has a permanent impact on the way we see and think about the world. Among many of these universal human experiences, losing a loved one remains one of the most painful and uncomfortable one to live through.

"The Grief" is a body of work illustrating in an abstract way the emotional journey on which a woman is taken after a loss. By going through seven consecutive stages, grief takes the protagonist through a journey that is simultaneously unpleasant, tumultuous and sometimes frustrating. By using the color black as a way to illustrate the evolution of the grief on the protagonist's body, I tried to interpret this Universal experience in a unique way, striving for a more complex and nuance representation of grief. This series of photos also aims to highlight the fact that grief is not something that is static, but rather something that constantly changes and evolves as time goes by.

Dig into The Grief below, and keep up with Yannis Davy Guibinga's work on Instagram and via his website.


Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Photo by Yannis Davy Guibinga.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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