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Edition 2014

Artist Presented by Azu Nwagbogu

Patrick Willocq

I am walé respect me

I dive deeply here into an initiation ritual and aim to create artistic and documentary photography, very close to the daily experience of Ekonda pygmies in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For the Ekondas, the most important moment in the life of a woman is the birth of her first child. The young mother, called Walé, then returns to her parents where she remains secluded for a period of 2 to 5 years. By strictly respecting the sex taboo during this whole period, she is given a status similar to that of a patriarch. The end of her seclusion is marked by a dancing and singing ritual. The choreography and the songs have a very codified structure but are unique creations specific to each Walé. In this series I proposed to five Walés, whom I’ve known for over a year, to participate in staged set ups that bear witness to a part of their personal history.

Patrick Willocq

Prints by Graphistes et Associés, Arles.
Framing by L'Atelier Emilie, Arles.
Exhibition venue: Atelier de Chaudronnerie, Parc des Ateliers.