Encore Sapeurs

I was interested (as I often am) by a post on Conscientious, Joerg Colberg‘s blog on Congolese photographer Baudouin Mouanda, who had a show I missed at Gasworks in Vauxhall last summer following a residency there. I quite probably walked past it, as it’s a stone’s throw from London’s best repair shop, Fixation, and in an area I know well, from long before it had galleries, where friends of mine I visited regularly lived in a council flat close to the Oval cricket ground. The page at Gasworks has some information and a few pictures as well as installation views from three of his projects: La Sapologie, (2008), Délestage, (2010) and Sur la Trottoir du Savoir, (2011).

Colberg’s post links to a set of pictures Hip Hop & société / Libreville on Afrique in Visu, and  to the web site of the Brazzaville Generation Elili collective where there is some French text about Mouanda, and I also found some pictures of young women working as car mechanics in Brazzaville I felt were of rather less interest than the other projects, along with a rather more promising set on the elections in Congo.

But in some respects the most interesting work – and the image chosen by Colberg for his post came from this – was the project featured on the Leica Camera site that he links to, La Sapologie. As well as the pictures there is also an interview with the photographer about the work.

Readers of this blog with a long memory may remember that I wrote a post on Sapology around two years ago, following the opening in London of photographer Daniele Tamagni’s ‘Gentlemen of Bacongo‘ and the publication of his book of the same title. A portfolio of work from this project had earlier won him the portfolio prize in the Young Photographers Canon Award 2007.

© 2010, Peter Marshall
A sapeur poses in front of Daniele Tamagni’s pictures at Michael Hoppen (Peter Marshall, 2010)

It was a memorable opening in particular for the presence of one of the’ People of Elegance‘, who I photographed for the blog. Mouanda’s (and Tamagni’s) pictures of the sapeurs are of course very much better than my quick snaps on that occasion.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.