Prof. Grace Aneiza Ali curates fifth edition of Addis Foto Fest

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018

Prof. Grace Aneiza Ali has curated a collection at the fifth edition of Addis Foto Fest in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Entitled "What the Land and Sea Tell Us: Caribbean Women Photographers and the Body Within Caribbean Landscapes and Seascapes," the exhibition runs from December 6-10, 2018. 

Prof. Ali's curator's note on Addis Foto Fest
In this collection on contemporary Caribbean photography, three Caribbean women artists—Khadija Benn, Nadia Huggins, and Keisha Scarville—provocatively engage the female body within Caribbean landscapes and seascapes. what the land and sea tell us interrogates the ubiquitous, often eroticized and hypersexualized, photographic presence and placement of Caribbean women’s bodies within Caribbean sites.
Placed within two specific geographic spaces of The Atlantic—the landscape ecologies of Guyana and the marine ecosystem of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines—the artists counter the use of the Caribbean woman’s  body as a familiar trope of the picturing paradise narrative. Instead, their images explore and define their own complex and nuanced relationship with the land and the sea and their evolving Caribbean identities.
Through the use of their own bodies as subject and via various artistic gestures that push the boundaries of self-portraiture, their insertion of the Caribbean woman’s body within spaces that are all at once remote, pastoral, turbulent, safe, familiar, strange, picturesque and grotesque, signal deeper political and subversive acts: to disrupt dominant global narratives of the Caribbean picturesque; to indict the ways in which perceptions of the Caribbean woman’s body continue to resonate; to reclaim these Caribbean spaces from the colonial imaginary as sites of conquest and exploration. And, simply, but profoundly, to counter the historic absence and erasure of Caribbean women from master narratives of art, and instead, place them at the center.