Appolo tribe, Akan ethnic group
“Soukeyna studies Marketing in Bordeaux (France). She is wearing her great grandmother’s outfit. To be able to bring it to the studio, she and her mother had to ask the permission from the current King of Grand Bassam and promised to return the clothing and jewelery to the royal court right after the photo shoot. The outfit was worn by the Queen, her great-grand mother in the 1930s. Soukeyna came to the studio with her mother, who posed for the project as well. She was wearing a miniskirt and Converse sneakers. Just by wearing the outfit she felt like a different woman. Her manner changed. Her mother was in tears, impressed by the resemblance between Soukeyna and her great-grandmother. They came to the photo shoot with a portrait of the great-grandmother aged 17, in this exact same outfit”.
“Resilience is the ability to return to your original form after being bent, compressed or stretched; it’s elasticity, the ability to recover from adversity” says photographer Joana Choumali from the Côte d’Ivoire, discussing her latest project. Joanna’s paternal grandmother had passed away years before, but it wasn’t until 2013 that Joana realized the magnitude of the loss; a large part of her personal story had also gone with her. Resilience is Joana’s attempt to reconnect with the past while remaining in the present and celebrating African beauty in its diversity.