Ausstellung A Place to Call Their Own by Raymond Dakoua

511x222_Abidjan/Maputo: LGBT Realities Holding her lover tight, the woman said to me; ‘She is the light of my life’. Abidjan, 2015 © Raymond Dakoua

Do, 19.01.2017 -
Fr, 17.03.2017

Goethe-Institut Johannesburg

119 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood
2193 Johannesburg

Thursday 19 January
18:30 Artist in conversation with Barbara (Cote d’Ivoire) and Sabelo Mlangeni (SA). Moderated by Jabu Pereira
20:00 Opening of Exhibition
Goethe-Institut, 119 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood 2193
Homosexuality has long been a taboo in many societies. Of the ten countries that still punish this “forbidden” love with a death sentence, four are on the African continent.
As Belgian-Ivorian photographer Raymond Dakoua points out: “nevertheless, LGBTpeople try to live their lives as freely and happily as they can”. In this new body of work, Dakoua explores LGBTI and Q realities in two countries that have recently decriminalized homosexuality, or do not legislate it: Mozambique and Ivory Coast.
“As a straight photographer I felt drawn into this subject, as the number of LGBTI and Q political refugees in Belgium is fast growing. These people had no choice but to leave their countries of origin, so I wanted to explore the realities they left behind. The result is a journey into mostly unknown territory.”

Raymond Dakoua, who was born in Cote d’Ivoire, but has lived many years in Brussels, graduated in Photography and Accounting from École Agnes Varda in Brussels in 2002. In 2003, he founded the collective Luna, together with six other photographers. A few years later, he and two colleagues founded the association Un Autre Regard (Another Glance). Preoccupied by the perseverance of tradition and the evolution of culture and social life, the photographer looks at various topics relating to humans, incl. social, political, ecological, religious and geographical aspects of life. Dakoua also works for humanitarian organisations such as The Red Cross, Handicap International. The GoodPlanet Foundation and Veterinarians Without Borders.
Barbara is a trans activist from the Ivory Coast, currently residing in France. Having participated in the launch of the Association of Transvestites of Côte d'Ivoire and been the head of one of the first movements to defend the rights of homosexuals and transsexuals in Africa in the nineties, Barbara continues work with the organization Woubi International, which seeks to present people of colour in the LGBTI and Q community. Barbara became well-known in her home country and internationally when she participated in the production of the documentary film ‘Woubi cheri’, directed by Laurent Bocahut and Peter Brooks in 1998.
Sabelo Mlangeni was born in 1980 in Driefontein near Wakkerstroom in Mpumalanga. In 2001 he moved to Johannesburg where he joined the Market Photo Workshop, graduating in 2004. He won the POPCAP'16 prize for Contemporary African Photography and the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts in 2009. Recent solo projects include Heartbreaker at artSPACE in Ackland, New Zealand (2016). Recent group exhibitions include Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life at Museum Africa, Johannesburg (extended until 30 April 2015); Distance and Desire: Encounters with the African Archive at the Walther Collection in Ulm, Germany (2013-2014). Public Intimacy: Art and Social Life in South Afric a at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2014); Apartheid and After at Huis Marseille, Amsterdam (2014); the Lubumbashi Biennale (2013); the Liverpool Biennial exhibition The Unexpected Guest (2012); 9th Rencontres de Bamako African Photography Biennial in Mali and the Lagos Photo Festival, Nigeria (both 2011); Appropriated Landscapes at the Walther Collection, Ulm, Germany (2011) and Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African photography at the V&A Museum, London (2011).
Jabu Pereira is the Director of Iranti, see more at Iranti-org is a queer human rights visual media organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Iranti-org works within a human rights framework as its foundational platform for raising issues on Gender, Identities and Sexuality. Founded in January 2012 by Human Rights activist, photographer and curator, Jabu Pereira. Jabu has graduated from NYU with a masters degree in museum studies and founded Iranti in 2012.  Through the use of various visual mediums such as videos, photography, audio recording, among others Iranti sets itself as an archive of the present, living and contemporary.  Iranti remains a media advocacy platform that defends the rights of Trans, Lesbian and Intersex persons in Africa.
Click here to access the Facebook event for the opening and feel free to share.
Exhibition runs until 17 March 2017.
Pictured: A happy afternoon among friends at Modeste beach, close to Abidjan, 2015. (c) Raymond Dakoua
More information on