Lebo Thoka
SOUTH AFRICA
Lebo Thoka is a 22 year old photography student. She’s from Johannesburg, born and raised, and she has been a freelancing photographer for 3 years. So far in her short photography journey she has had a chance to navigate the worlds of commercial photography quite consistently and fine arts photography, a new avenue that she is currently exploring. She identifies as a Feminist amongst other things and that has managed to express itself into her first ever fine arts body of work, which has been a powerful and humbling thing. Throughout this journey of photography that she’s currently on she hopes to use photography as a way to create and reshape the way she thinks about the world and hopefully encourage some kind of deeper level of thinking amongst other people who see what she creates.
It Is Well: An Ode to Karabo
It Is Well: An Ode to Karabo is Johannesburg-based Lebo Thoka’s first venture into fine art photography. The 21-year-old photographer has undertaken to create the body of work as a means to mediate dialogue and action. The series hosts self-portraits wherein the artist pays tribute to South African women who have in some way been subject to femicidal violence. The works promulgate the necessity of recognising women as self-existing members of the community. Thoka appeals to the recognition of a woman outside of a relational context, more specifically away from her relation to male counterparts. Thoka’s portraits realise an elegant and resilient Mary. She is not without embattlement and trauma; yet beats a confident, if not regal, presence. In the midst of calamity and destruction, she remains bold. The body, however, has become a memorial to modernities in a state of perpetual civil war against her; revering neither body nor being.

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.