April Banks
USA
April Banks is a conceptual artist, traveler, and intentional in-betweener. Driven by immersive observation and questioning, her work sits between photography, installation, writing, and collaborative experiments. Recent work involves the mining of historical photos and documents and challenges how history is told, who is given the authority to tell it and how it endures over time. This body of work began at the gap of a fuzzily conclusive ancestral DNA test and has now grown to include the unidentified, generically described, the altered, and the intentionally forgotten in historical archives. April graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Hampton University in Virginia and a Master of Science in Environmental Design from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. She has exhibited in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Daytona Beach, New Hampshire, Maryland, New York, Switzerland, Colombia, Brazil, United Arab Emirates and Senegal.
Déjà vu and Other Histrionics
A photograph is a lie about the truth. This series is a survey and questioning of how history is told and remembered. I have digitally extracted the portraits of the prolific French colonial photographer, Pierre Tacher, whose images are still on display all around Saint-louis, Senegal. I reinserted Tacher’s portraits into my architectural photographs taken during my stay in Saint-louis and Goree Island—key sites for the exportation of bodies and transportation of images across borders. In a way, I am having a transtemporal dialog with Tacher, questioning the context and intentions of his work and other photographers of his time. His images were made into postcards to be sent back to various imperial countries. Whose story was really told in these images? How cooperative were those being photographed? I want to shift how we see these “people” from Tacher’s portraits and how other historical documents that linger without question. Walking around Saint-louis and Goree Island feels like walking through a museum of a complicated past; a living memorial to colonial times. The buildings, mostly unchanged, hold countless stories of those who once lived there. Many remain in disrepair, protected by UNESCO historical designations. In my photographs of significant buildings, I focus on stairways, thresholds and doors as transitional spaces, between public and private, between freedom and slavery, between ethnography and pornography. This is historical fiction.

The Addis Foto Fest (AFF) was established in 2010 by award-winning photographer and cultural entrepreneur, Aida Muluneh. The festival is organized by Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC. AFF is a biennial international photography festival held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It has previously featured exhibitions, portfolio reviews, conferences, projections and film screenings in many different renowned venues. It is also the first and only international photography festival in East Africa.