• Patrick Willocq Songs of the Walés
  • Patrick Willocq Songs of the Walés
  • Patrick Willocq Songs of the Walés
  • Patrick Willocq Songs of the Walés

Patrick Willocq Songs of the Walés

For the Ekonda pygmies in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the most important event in the life of a woman is the birth of her first child. The young mother is called Walé (»primiparous nursing mother«). For several years after giving birth, she lives in semi-seclusion, separated from her husband, cared for by other female tribe members and covered daily in red powder made of Ngola wood. When the time comes to reenter society, she puts on a show for the community, translating the lessons learned during seclusion into songs and dances.

These celebrations captured the attention of French photographer Patrick Willocq, who, in a unique collaboration with some Walés, their respective clans, an ethnomusicologist, an artist and many artisans of the forest, constructed elaborate and surreal sets, in the middle of the jungle and without any photoshop montage nor collage, inspired by the Ekonda mothers’ chants, and then photographed staged scenes of the women within them.

This book presents the series produced between 2013 and 2015, among them I Am Walé Respect Me and Forever Walé. Through this work Patrick Willocq (b. 1969) takes his images far from the usual hackneyed and clichéd depiction of the Congo (where he grew up) and brings a fresh interpretation of Africa.


Hardcover 15,5 x 23 cm 208 pages 183 color ills. and 19 b/w ills. English Available ISBN 978-3-86828-830-8 2017

Artist:

Patrick Willocq

Texts:

Martin Boilo Mbula, Laurence Butet-Roch, Alain Mingam, Azu Nwagbogu, Patrick Willocq

Design:

Kehrer Design (Martin Lutz)


Preview

Exhibitions

The Art of Survival, PhotoIreland 2017
The Copper House Gallery, Dublin, May 8 – 31, 2017

My Story is a Story of Hope, Château de Saint-Martory
October 28 – November 5, 2017


Leica Oskar Barnack Award Finalists 2017, Leica Store, Paris
November 6 – 25, 2017


Songs of the Walés, Project 2.0 / Gallery, Den Haag
October 29 – November 29, 2017


AKAA, Also Known As Africa Art Fair, VisionQuesT, Paris
November 10 – 12, 2017

 

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