Nura Qureshi
GERMANY
Nura Qureshi, born 1977 in Germany, studied photography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and is a photojournalist, art photographer, and mixed media visual artist. Her photojournalism practice centers on historical documentation. In 2008, Qureshi was awarded a grant to travel to Cambodia and document survivors of the Khmer Rouge. She has also documented concentration camps in Europe, sites and participants of the Mau Mau resistance in Kenya, and medical missions in Ghana and Guatemala. In her art, photography and mixed media work, Qureshi investigates sites and practices connected to humanity’s dark histories, such as those of war, colonialism, and genocide. Based on archival and interview research, Qureshi’s work explores themes related to collective memory, the historical archive, and people’s relationships to their shared past. Working across time periods and continents, Qureshi interrogates the violent contradictions of historical and contemporary systems of power to construct psychologically and emotionally impactful – and often unsettling – visual environments. Qureshi was selected for the “EyeContact” 25 Shortlist in the 2015 PhotoWerkBerlin Award and she has had her work featured in a number of exhibitions in Africa, Europe, and the United States.
Are You Calling Me A Dog?
In 1963 Kenya achieved independence after a long struggle for liberation that involved men and women, mostly from the Kikuyu ethnicity or nation. Nearly sixty years later, no real liberation occurred and the heroes of that time are now slowly disappearing. A great part of the colonial settlers stayed and integrated the society and instead the men and women who fabricated the Mau-Mau liberation fight have been forgotten by the new generations and the elite. They have become too old, marginalized by the society, lost their memory, or have avoided telling their descendants their traumatizing stories and passed away. This past year, with the race for election and the fight for land, Kenya is reviving some of these themes and the people who once where oppressed are using the same technics of those used by their oppressors. Like a man trying to hide his scars, the will to erase the traces of its footprints, the Kenyans have transformed the landscape, where camps and executions, tortures and trials took place and have replaced them by schools, churches, quarries, and airports. Running for the Nobel Prize in 2010, Kenyan’s most important author since exile, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, talks in his book ‘Decolonizing the mind’ about “Shrubbing”, referring to the mispronunciation of English words due to the interference of local Kenyan languages/dialect. It also represents the identity of a Nation versus the higher language (or civilization). It took more than 40 years for Ngũgĩ to be recognized and to have the right to speak the native languages in the new constitution. Like a shrub who has been cut down the Kenyan culture insisted in growing back. The project ‘Are You Calling Me A Dog?’ reimagines the history of the Mau Mau resistance in Kenya. I used landscape and portrait photography, film and digital cameras, sometimes combined with print and ink, to recreate scenes depicting Mau Mau rituals of initiation and surrender, as well as British infrastructures of oppression.

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.