top of page

Joana Choumali

Hââbré is the word for ‘writing’ and ‘scarification’ in Kô language from Burkina Faso. Joana Chomali uses studio portraiture with the same background and lighting to map the last generation of people wearing scarifications in the city of Abidjan. 


In the series, Joana Choumali questions the link between past and present in contemporary Africa and self-image depending on a given environment. Referencing ethnographic portraiture, the artist further plays with the gaze of the viewer, who somewhat uncomfortably is asked to examine her sitters in the same scientific way; beyond the scars that are the common point between the faces of the models, the unique personalities and possibly life experiences of each sitter surges out of the frame to meet us frontally, making it an intriguing and poignant encounter.


Cprint, 80/60cm, Edition of 7
bottom of page