• Haute Africa

    Jim Naughten, Herero (2012)

  • Haute Africa

    Phyllis Galembo
    'Ghost and Byll, Dodo Masquerade'
    Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
    2009
    Courtesy Alex Daniëls – Reflex, Amsterdam

  • Haute Africa

    Héctor Mediavilla

  • Haute Africa

    Jehad Nga
    Turkana, Kenya
    2009

  • Haute Africa

    Danielle Tamagni
    Afrometals # 1
    2012

  • Haute Africa

    Sabelo Mlangeni
    Is'cebhe
    2011
    Courtesy of Stevenson Cape Town/Johannesburg

  • Haute Africa

    Nontsikelelo Veleko
    From the series 'Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder'
    2003

Haute Africa

Phyllis Galembo, Héctor Mediavilla, Jim Naughten, Jehad Nga, Sabelo Mlangeni, Daniele Tamagni en Nontsikelelo Veleko

This summer with Haute Africa, the Noorderlicht Photogallery sheds light on the sunny side of the African continent. From 5 July through 31 August, seven photographers show a different Africa: a continent that still defies the imagination, and a place where creativity can bring prosperity. This flourishing African creativity finds no better expression than in fashion.

Haute Africa shows work by photographers who are not so much interested in African fashion in itself, but rather carry out an anthropological research into contemporary African clothing culture. Various African countries such as the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia have a well-functioning economy; South Africa is even an important global player. First and foremost, these countries have the exploitation of Africa's rich natural resources to thank for their progress, yet the creative, sustainable economies are also gradually starting to grow.

The fashion industry is an important exponent of this creative industry. Many African designers, entrepreneurs and photographers inspire the world with new designs that convey and renew African identity. This evolution hasn't escaped the attention of artists and photographers. Through clothing culture they gauge the convictions, thoughts and feelings of its wearers, or the history of a particular place. They take a look at topics such as Westernisation, postcolonialism, race, gender equality, religious beliefs or political power relations. From this angle, Haute Africa shows how clothing culture conveys and renews African identity without averting its eyes from an otherwise often bitter reality.

This exhibition was made possible by the willing cooperation of
Galerie Alex Daniels - Reflex Amsterdam
Stevenson, Cape Town en Johannesburg
Fotofestival Knokke-Heist 2014

Cristophe de Jaeger and Ramona van Gansbeke, curator en assistant curator of Haute Africa