Marie Kohler: Make a Photo Yourself: Photos from Christoph Schlingensief's African Opera Village


Initiated by artist/photographer Marie Köhler, the project documented here gathers photographs made by children living in Christoph Schlingensief''s Opera Village Africa
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Our image of Africa is characterized largely by stereotypes. We know the images of poverty, war, and children with water bellies, or the sometimes embellished by postcolonial romantic images of elephants at the waterhole.

The Dortmund photographer Marie Köhler wanted to show a different picture of Africa - an image that was not cliché, while projecting romance, without dressing. Kohler went for it in the opera village of Christoph Schlingensief in Burkina Faso and tried to inspire the children with photography. It takes up the idea of ​​Christoph Schlingensief, who wanted to show the opera village as a meeting and learning place for an African culture.

The book brings together a selection of images, which arose during the project. They tell a story that is about the people, especially the children. The photographs of the children show an undistorted and precisely impressive view of the daily lives of residents. They tell of community, joy and sorrow, weal and woe. The recordings are times frightening, funny, and thought-provoking and leave a spot to laugh out loud. But all of them take the viewer on an emotional and fascinating journey into the unknown Africa.

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