Emmanuelle Andrianjafy is a young photographer based in Dakar, Senegal. Born in 1983, she grew up in Madagascar and enjoyed several years of corporate life in France after graduating as an electrical engineer in 2005. In 2011, she moved to Senegal and after leading exploration projects across the country for a start-up adventure company, she chose to embrace photography in 2013. Her work results from the observation of her environment.
Emmanuelle has exhibited at the Aperture gallery (2015 Summer Open, New York). She was included in the 2015 Life Framer award with exhibitions at the Juraplatz Art Space in December 2015 (Biel, Switzerland) and Think Tank Gallery in November 2015 (Los Angeles). Her work has been published on LensCulture in 2015 and has been featured online for the 2014 National Geographic photo contest.
Emmanuelle is currently participating in a year-long workshop, Atelier Smedsby, between France and Sweden. She has previously attended workshops at the International Center of Photography and at Eyes in Progress.
We’re moving to Kounoune
Stillness, solitude, emptiness, and muted, are all words that come to mind when viewing the images of Emmanuelle Andrianjafy’s We’re Moving to Kounoune. Taken 25 kilometers outside Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, the photos capture what resembles a ghost town with its many half-finished houses, low-hanging cables from electrical pylons, and a heavy-oil power plant with three towering chimneys. Typically attracted to environments devoid of or with minimal human presence, it was the seemingly “forgotten-ness” of the community of unguided urban planning that brought Andrianjafy to Kounoune and created the basis for this body of work.
In early 2014, while doing some exploration along the newly completed highway leading out of Dakar, she was drawn to Kounoune by the three chimneys that towered small houses in what seemed like a long-deserted construction project. However, during this visit, she noticed most of the homes were actually inhabited and her mind begin to formulate questions about the place. “Can this be called prosperity?” “Why or how do families decide to settle in Kounoune?” “How will this place look a few years from now?”
During her visits to Kounoune, she noticed additional constructions and many that still had not advanced towards completion. Choosing to sparsely include tell-tale signs of human life, like clothes hanging from a line and masjid, one of the only completed structures, in the series, Andrianjafy makes viewers wonder if this place is past, present or future. Has it been deserted or is it on the verge of vibrancy?