photographer mamaki rakotsoana takes dope self-portraits and is afro-punk’s first correspondent in africa!

April 13, 2012

Hey guys, we’re very excited and would like to introduce you to our first correspondent in Africa, Ms. Mamaki Rakotsoana, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mamaki has a passion for photography. Below are some of her dope self-portrait. She tells us: “This series of photographic works explores my father’s past family album pictures with my own reworked photographs exploring the feeling of ‘lonesome’ I feel present in my father’s photographs. Photographs have a unique status of being able to show the presence and the absence of a person at the same time. With my work, I attempt to explore the emotions that I feel are absent in the photographs. Is the relationship between memories and photographs to retrieve the past or to act as a reminder? I also raise questions if the photograph functions as a personal tribute for the person we love or is it rebuilding our idea of a person we knew. In most cases the ideas of photography is different from person to person in terms of how people see them as i.e. a memory, as the revealed truth or as representation of false insight.”

“The work serves to investigate the feelings that are personal and question the difference between photography and subjective memory. Are these images just images, do they tell a story or uncover the hidden truths? I am interested in the control of the photographic image over concept of self, identity in order to create trust in photographs. For this project, I re-stage photographs from my family album. While I try to keep some of the details of the family pictures, like clothing and I put myself in the picture. The photographs are taken in two types of settings, in the lounge of the home and in the park of the neighbourhood.”

“In the images, I focus on playing out the subject of the photograph in different situations, for instance a graduate, a bride, or a mother. When reshooting them, I try to explore this kind of family photography by looking at the relation between family members, who in this case are the photographer and the photographed, and exaggerating the expectations between family members. By exposing myself to the simulated, the images show how a person changes according to these expectations. On the other hand, it focuses on my father and what kind of person he was and what kind of photographs he took of his family. To explore this dimension, I re-stage his photographs in my own way. I try to take out the same photographs but to change them in such a way that I can understand them. This involves, for instance, the clothes worn in the photographs, at the same time, I try to elaborate in these family portraits the relation between the subject and the photographer, that is, the way the subject poses and how comfortable or uncomfortable the photographed comes across.”