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From Africa To The World: Three Artists Share How Their Latest Exhibits In Paris Are Inspired By Their African Identity

By Kelsey Marie

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The world’s largest photography fair, Paris Photo and AKAA (Also Known As Africa) Art & Design Fair are highlighting African artists whose work tells compelling stories of the continent.

These young African artists are telling their truths with identity and heritage at the core of what they do.

CN Traveler recently spoke to the artists being highlighted and found out their tips when visiting Paris.

Here’s what they had to say:

Namsa Leuba

Louba grew up in Switzerland but is linked to Africa through her mother, who is from Guinea. The young artists became interested in voodoo and witchcraft because of her mother’s animalist beliefs. When asked by CN Traveler, Leuba describes her work as “primarily docu-fiction, with a fashion aesthetic.”

Her favorite place in Paris is Table Nali by Clarence Kopogo, “a badass chef who does amazing takes on street-food classics — I love her ttiéké, a tart cassava dish from the Ivory Coast.”

Leuba’s series, entitled “Zulu Kids” will be at Paris Photo from November 7-10.

David Uzochukwu

In Uzochukwu’s latest series, he styled models as water creatures and shot in Senegal around the Saloum River delta. His father is Nigerian and comes from the Igbo tribe, an inspiration for the artist’s work.

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“There are more ways than ever for artists to promote nuanced narratives about Africa. There’s been a creative boom across the continent, and people are starting to appreciate its art for what it is, rather than exoticizing or fetishizing the context,” Uzochukwu tells CN Traveler.

The artist shares that his favorite place in Paris is Jah Jah by Le Tricycle, an Afro-Caribbean restaurant. “It’s run by a Rastafarian family who put on these fun music nights, and they serve big bright bowls of vegan food and healing bissap juice made from hibiscus,” says Uzochukwu.

Check out Uzochukwu’s work from November 9 – 11 at AKAA.

Yannis Davy Guibinga

Guibinga is a 23-year-old artist who grew up in Gabon and explores queer identity in Africa. His photos are filled with colors and he talks about his work saying, “but the exciting thing is being able to explore the manifold ways that modern Africans live, not being limited to flat ideas about a whole continent.”

He tells CN Traveler his favorite spot in Paris is La Recyclene, a cafe with vegetarian-friendly options.

You can check out his work at AKAA Paris.

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Kelsey Marie

Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie

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