“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” ~ Maya Angelou
Who am I? Yesterday’s? Today or tomorrow? How do we take part in the communities that surround us or bring us together? What binds us all together as humans? This exhibition is a dialogue between two artists Denae Howard and Rahima Gambo.
Both have in common to deconstruct the stereotypes linked to the question of identity and gender. Each in their own way renews the stories and imaginations by associating the question of fuidity, movement, ritual and dance.
What does the community allow us?
Rahima Gambo with Tatsunya II replies that community allows us to resist. Through a powerful installation with videos, Tatsunya deals on how the community is a form of resilience to survive after a tragedy. Tatsuniya is a Hausa1 word that translates to tales – folktales or fairytales for children. In this spirit, Gambo created her project as a poetic alternative narrative about the experiences of students schooling in Northeastern Nigeria, a region in which in 2013 the Shehu Sanda Kyarimi Government Secondary School was attacked by Boko Haram terrorists. The Tatsuniya Art Collective is a registered network for the student collaborators in the Tatsuniya series. The collective was founded through the visual storytelling workshops visual artist Rahima Gambo had with student collaborators in the series. The collective is made up of the 18 core participants that feature in the photographs and videos in the project.
Denae Howard work is a coded-guide that promotes discussions that reveal the similarities and differences in the way individuals’ experience systems. Her works are re-appropriations of negative archetypes and stereotypes to reclaim and transcend positive meaning for Black people. But also re-imaginings of the limitless opportunities of Black Existence. She will propose to create a large photo collage especially for the festival and a video.
This show is a manifesto: We are convinced that art has a performative and potentially transformative power and that by touching the public, it can act as a revealer to bring out new behaviors. For these two artists one of the answers to our questions is how the community becomes a form of resilience.
1 Hausa (/ˈhaʊsə/;Harshen/Halshen Hausa; Ajami: هَرْشَن هَوْس َ( is a Nigerian language spoken by the Hausa people in Chad, and mainly within the northern half of Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and the southern half of Niger, with significant minorities in Sudan, Benin, and Ivory Coast.
Rahima Gambo is a visual artist and documentarian who came to artistic practice from photojournalism and by working independently on long form trans-media documentary projects. She explores the experimental and conceptual territory between still and moving images as it intersects with documentary, psycho-spiritual-geography, socio-politics, ecology, and autobiography. Her practice ranges from drawing, video, sculpture, installation and sound, using them as extended poetic and speculative tools that enquire around documentary processes that lie outside pre-existing traditions. Each “project” for her is an attempt at map-making a situated, active, embodied vision/knowledge production, at the center of which lies notions of “care” and an attention to power relations at play in the processes of documentary, storytelling and photography. Her work is circular, collaborative, continuous and serial in nature, with repetition and return to sites of interest as essential to her practice.
Selected exhibitions include “Bird Sound Orientations,” Stevenson, Johannesburg, “Have you seen a Horizon Lately?” MACAAL, Morocco. The 11th and 12th Edition Recontre de Bamako, the Biennale of African photography, Mali. “Resisting Images, Images Responding” at Coalmine, Winterthur, Switzerland. Mercosur Biennial, 12th edition—Feminine(s): visualities, actions and affections, “Afterglow” Yokohama Triennale 2020, Lagos Biennale 2019. “Diaspora at Home” curated by KADIST and the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos, Nigeria.
She was recently named a FOAM Talent for 2020 and she was amongst the awardees of the Contemporary African Photography Prize 2020. She has completed fellowships with the Magnum Foundation, Open Society Foundation Documentary Photography, and the International Women’s Media Fund.
In 2019, Gambo founded “A Walk Space”, a mobile art space that explores the interdisciplinary intersections of the “moving” image, and the role of art in society, through collaborations, exhibitions and workshops.
Denae Howard (Artschoolscammer) is A Brooklyn-based Conceptual artist, educator, curator and advisor. At the moment she is solely a collaborative artist. Working with her cooperative #Dayonesart and other Black creatives invested in making work that forces necessary conversation. Her work is a coded-guide that promotes discussions that reveal the similarities and differences in the way individuals’ experience systems. Her practice stems from a need to create space and conversation around the systems that govern our natural existence. As a visual artist and contributor to culture she feels it is imperative to create art that reflects cognitive, emotional and social pedagogy. Her works are re-appropriations of negative archetypes and stereotypes to reclaim and transcend positive meaning for Black people. But also re-imaginings of the limitless opportunities of Black Existence.
Curators: Jeanne Mercier, Marina Paulenka
The photo shows Danae Howard’s “Chorus Collage”