For his recent work, local upcoming photographer Raymond Geofrey is delving into African practices and the elements they entail.
Titled ‘African Narratives,’ this body of work is a window to the experiences of boys’ enduring initiation, and evidence to the growth of explorative photography in Botswana.
On what inspired this project, Geofrey says it is his keenness to celebrate African culture “I believe we have for a very long time celebrated foreign culture and neglected our own because we have been in the past brainwashed to believe African culture is evil and not relevant to modern development. Being an African, I have always loved Africa and its culture. All this drove me to curate and create illustrations which I use to compose such narratives,” he says.
The range of images is starkly bold and reflective of the strong masculinity embodied in black men. From strokes of white paint across their faces to the flowy material wrapping their bodies, the imagery is engaging and the black and white colour scheme used is captivating. “I explore African culture practices, elements, beauty and relevance. My current project reflects African initiation school dynamics,” he explains, adding that the portrayal isn’t specific to a particular culture.
In terms of the photography market and possible collaborations with international brands, Geofrey states there has been a shift in African culture relevance.
“It seems there is a lot of interest in African culture. More brands are researching our culture and elements to incorporate into their aesthetic. I would definitely be keen on a collaboration,” he says.
Speaking on his upcoming projects, Geofrey says he hopes to have a photo exhibition soon. “I am currently looking for sponsoring for my solo exhibition which I hope to have soon. I continue to collaborate with local models to produce these works as it is important for the world to see our capabilities in this industry.”
Geofrey is currently unveiling the project on his Instagram account, @raymond_geofrey.