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“It was important for me to immortalize Women's history ”

"I started to take an interest in women's history when I worked on my grandmother's dowry (1), for the series "The essential is invisible to the eyes". It was after that that I started to understand that women were queens, thanks to the stories my grandmother told me. She was telling me how she struggled, raised her children almost alone, and I realized that her story had almost been forgotten by the family.

Then, I saw that in Benin, we talk about the fourteen kings, but we don't talk about the only woman who was queen.

In Africa, it is women who are the bedrock of traditions. But these women are never quoted, it is the man who is always in front. When we take the secret society of the Egunguns (2) for example, it is the woman who makes the prayer first, it is she who is the priestess, whereas it is always said that the woman should not be in Convent. Is this some kind of hypocrisy? What are they really hiding from us? For me, it was important to go and work on these queens of everyday life, to understand a little... Because there are things that are hidden, and you don't necessarily find them in books.

So it was important for me to immortalize the story of women with the one thing that I know how to do perhaps best: photography. Because the woman in reality is at the center of everything we do. I don't give the woman her place, the woman's place is already there. I'm only just revealing something that we're trying to see, but we look away. »



(1) The dowry is a set of goods that the family of one spouse brings to the family of the other spouse during a marriage, in certain cultures.

(2) In Benin, the “Revenants”, also called “Egunguns”, belong to the vodoun cult. According to belief, the "Egunguns" represent the dead returning. They come out during special ceremonies for which they are invoked, adorned with various fabrics and richly trimmed, speaking in Yoruba and performing dances.

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