Several young African photographers started by posting their work on social media to build up their reputation, leading to professional commissions. Now, people flipping through the pages of magazines such as Vogue, Glamour, Elle, or Esquire might discover more photos taken by African artists. Through their images, these photographers want to redefine the African identity and recreate a sense of community.
Marguerite Oelofse was born in 1975 in Johannesburg, South Africa. She studied visual arts at the National School of Art and completed her degree in Visual Communication in 2009. She assisted various photographers to hone her skills following her graduation. Then, she spent three years working between Cape Town and Berlin, where she started her career as a fashion photographer. Oelofse's work is focused on the exploration of identity, memory, and place. She uses photography to explore the complexities of her own identity as a South African woman, as well as the collective identity of her country. Her work often focuses on the beauty of everyday life in South Africa, from its landscapes to its people. Her love for art and storytelling influenced her aesthetic, which is closed to painting. Oelofse has collaborated with a number of magazines such as Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and GQ. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards including a World Press Photo Award for her series The Unseen (2015) and a Leica Oskar Barnack Award for her series The Other Side (2016).
Trevor Stuurman was born in 1992 in Kimberley, South Africa. He started his career in photography in 2012, after winning Elle magazine’s street fashion blogger award Style Reporter. That exposure allowed him to work with various magazines including Glamour, Grazia, Edgars, and Vogue. Stuurman studied filmmaking at AFDA and completed an exchange program with the Chapman University in California in 2014. While studying there, he produced a documentary about Laduma Ngxokolo, a South African designer who created the knitwear brand MaXhosa. In his work, Stuurman plays with themes of belonging, nostalgia, community, and comfort, citing the idea of “home” as a main inspiration. That concept was at the heart of his first exhibition entitled “A Placed Called Home”, which took place in Johannesburg last year. The artist has also extended his research and interest in African hairstyles and the culture around it, documented in his Hairitage (2022) series for the Senegalese brand Tongoro.
Born in 1983 in Temsaman, Morocco, Mous Lamrabat grew up in Belgium. He studied interior design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, where he discovered art and used his cultural experience to start a career in photography upon graduating in 2009. After working as an interior designer, Lamrabat shifted to fashion photography collaborating with magazines such as Vogue, GQ, Elle, and Esquire. His work uses beauty and humor to create powerful narratives, which tackle sensitive issues such as racism, religion, and women’s rights. His portraits convey important messages of love and connection with others through a colourful and eclectic visual experience, providing the viewer with unexpected opportunities for reflection. Over the past few years, Lamrabat worked mainly on his series Mousganistan (2019), which combines images of models wearing Islamic traditional clothing with Western pop culture references in a desert landscape and a surrealist setting.