Fourthwall Books, Johannesburg
Joana Choumali (Ivory Coast) and George Mahashe (South Africa) are the joint winners of the 2016 Fourthwall Books Photobook Award. In selecting Choumali’s work ‘Hââbré: The Last Generation’, the jury remarked on the strength of these portraits of men and women with facial scarification. The subjects of Choumali’s photographs may, owing to political and social pressure, be the last people in Abidjan to wear these ritual facial markings. In Mahashe’s ‘Gae – Lebowa’, the photographer’s record of excursions to his home of Bolobedu in Limpopo province provides insight into the notion of home in relation to an indigenous archive and colonial history.The jury was pleased to see a sustained and unusual engagement with the traditions, history and contemporary life of a rural community.
The Fourthwall Books Photobook Award, the first such award in Africa, is aimed at promoting the work of new and established photographers on the continent. It is awarded to photographers who have produced an excellent body of work suited to publication in book format. Working closely with Fourthwall Books, Johannesburg, Choumali and Mahashe will produce their books in 2016.