My entry into journalism over the past few months has meant different things to me at different stages, right now it’s the ability to document cultures in Africa to their authenticity. It’s a dream of mine, I’ve envisioned an age with african excellence pouring all over for us to consume.
Fast forward to September 2017, I’m transcribing one of the coolest interviews yet, with Marc Posso a 21 year old photographer, born in Libreville, Gabon, he’s lived in Paris for the past 3 years. He is not only a photographer, he is also a student in Accounting and Management. Marc is a dreamer passionate of street-photography and portraiture. He is attracted to the diversity of the world and people. He observes a lot and uses his vision in photography as a mean to express himself. Out of this passion arose the desire to create images to promote Africa and its culture.
We discussed being a creative in France and what the global new age of Africa feels like. He then shared his visual series ‘Blue Bazin’.
Your images speak to me in some sort of way, it feels really emotional and elemental at the same time. How would you describe your images? What inspired your love for photography?
Marc Posso: Thank you. My images are the result of what I think & how I see the world & people. I can say that I’m attracted by the diversity of people. I observe a lot & I don’t speak a lot. So photography was the right means to express myself. I can say that it happened naturally with God’s help.
When you create an image, what’s the primary story you try to express or what different layers do you aim at showing?
Marc Posso: I first want to create something which could bring the viewer to imagine a continuation. I’m a dreamer & want the viewers to live my dream. It’s a bit participative. In my country and even in all Africa, the art is not enough valued. Africa has talented artists. I want to contribute to raise the consideration which people have of Africa and Africans. It’s also one of my motivations.
The subjects in your portraits always spill so much emotion and detail, how do you select your subjects and why are portraits so integral to capturing their element?
Marc Posso: Most often I choose them on instagram. There are so many inspiring people on this network. Then it is by discussing with them that I am sure that I want them or not. Each person is different physically or about the experience, I like it. It is this facet of photography that is magical. This way to create a kind of alchemy between the subject and I.
Explain this alchemy & how it guides your creative process?
Marc Posso: By meeting a subject I try to know a little more about him/her before anything else. I want to be able to ally who he/she is to what I think of him/her. I look a lot at the work of other photographers and thanks to the subject I have in front of me, I try to create something that is my own. I let creativity guide my mind because it is powerful. I don’t try to dominate it but I try to guide it towards what my mind sees.
Technology has given a camera to everyone at cheaper rates and via smartphones, photography is one of the biggest creative cultures growing wildly in Africa.
What do you think about Africa’s morphing of the culture?
Marc Posso: I think Africa needs it. Many people in the world think that Africa is a country, that African is a language. Or they do not know the existence of certain countries, of certain cultures. Through technology, African people can show the world the beauty of the African continent, the diversity of cultures and the people who live there.
How do you show your African ethos as a photographer living in France?
Marc Posso: Here there are many subjects but those that attract the most my attention are the Africans, the black skin people. Moreover, add an African touch into my images or the caption is something I am proud of and which represents for me the means of asserting myself as an African photographer.
Creating outside Africa is a different experience, what’s the creative scene like for an African in France? Are the Africans there also reacting to the new age?
Marc Posso: It is not very easy because the landscapes are different, the accessories are sometimes difficult to find or have very high prices. But it remains a very interesting experience, I can even say that it is a good challenge. Yes, the Africans also react to the new age. A lot of people are no longer ashamed to assert themselves. Hairstyles, outfits, food and other elements of African culture. We must believe that we all brought back a little from Africa to France.
What’s unique being an African photographer on a global creative scene? What’s the element that radiates around being a global African creative?
Marc Posso: An African photographer on the global creative scene is, in my opinion, an ambassador of African culture. Success outside of Africa, through the expression of African culture by having the world as a spectator, can only be beneficial to all Africans.
I have a sentence in mind, it was inspired by an African singer: I want to shake the world with Africa around the neck.
(At this point Marc who isn’t very fluent in English relieved himself the stress and replied in French along the course of this interview. He had been copying my questions into google translate and now it was my turn to play by his terms. It was an electric feeling connecting with another African from across the continent who speaks another language but shares the same vision and passion in pushing Africa forward and creating from our hearts. This was a beautiful example set forth of a New Age in Africa being birthed. It’s my proudest moment as a journalist.)
Photography has become an Artform. Art itself is now interpreted as images, graphic design & videos. What is your take of photography as artistic form in contrast to traditional art?
Marc Posso: I take photography as a lifestyle. Photography through the artistic side that you can give it, allows you to shape the outside world differently than what everyone else sees. Unlike traditional art, artistic photography is mostly digital. It is more easily spread and is more and more present in today’s world.
What excites you the most about New Age Africa?
Marc Posso: The fact that African culture is coming into force on the world stage. It is an honor to be part of the artists who work to make this happen. I believe in Africa and its capabilities.
Blue Bazin – Visual Capsule.
This man wears a traditional Senegalese outfit made with bazin. The bazin is an African cotton fabric dyed handcrafted to become a damask fabric. Its peculiarities are its stiffness and its brilliance. It is particularly appreciated by West African people who make beautiful clothes which they wear proudly because it is a part of their culture.