Mother Africa – A Photographic Exhibition in Support of Doctors Without Borders
Mon, Mar 2, 2015 10:00am – Mon, Mar 30, 2015 6:00pm
Naked Eye Gallery, Hove
Art on show in Brighton and Hove & East and West Sussex
A walk through Mother Africa with her Children.
Francesca began her photographic career as a dance photographer. Through her unwavering love of travel, her career developed into taking photographs in underdeveloped countries. Her first love is Africa. She attributes this love to the time her grandmother lived in Kenya and Tangiers. During this time, she fell in love with the people of Africa, its animals and land in general. She began recreationally photographing the mountain gorillas of the Virunga volcanoes in Rwanda and the orphaned elephants at Dapnie Sheldricks wildlife trust. Francesca then went on to work with experienced medical teams, and through this, she travelled in Senegal, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia through the Reft Valley treating endogenous tribes and the I.D.P camps (internally displaced people) due to the 2007/2008 post election violence. During this time she met four young boys in one camp aged between 10 and 15 years who’s story caught her attention. These remarkable boys were homeless on the streets of Nairobi. These boys walked for days down into the Reft Valley to find an education. Each day they walked into the camp and managed to slip into class unnoticed, over time they were eventually seen. Francesca is happy to report that not only were they allowed to stay in class, the community also built a new corrugated home which they were able to move into a few days before she and the team left. Francesca was struck by their determination and resilience and describes the actions of these boys as commendable. Brothers not by birth, but brothers by circumstance. A little of their story is told in her exhibition.
Francesca describes Kabera, the largest slum in Kenya as a sight she will never forget, with it’s miles of shanty towns, it’s little running water, illegal electricity and almost no sanitation. Birth, death, schooling, marriage, drugs cheap alcohol, unwanted pregnancies and malaria are common. This is a place no one would wish to live, but Francesca was able to leave and go back the next day and the day after that, knowing it was days and not years before she could have something we take for granted: privacy. There’s little of that in Kabera.
In Francesca’s words: ‘Africa is such an important well of human life as it is where human life began. It has been hit hard by ebola and needs our help. I hope you enjoy my pictures and the spirit of Africa and her children’.