Steve Mvondo
CAMEROON
In a country where the dream of every parent is to make his/her child a civil servant to ensure social securities, Steve Mvondo followed his father’s dream up to the point of getting a Master Degree in Law. Being an artist, is a real challenge as the general perception locally is generally that ‘artist are people who didn’t know what to do with their lives’. However, it is actually during that same period at the university that his artistic soul started burning inside of him. One of the milestones of that journey being the Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 competition in Cameroon, on which he was a laureate. He describes his artistic journey as a journey of self-discovery, which has varied in shapes and forms and has been, expressed through various medium graphic design, video, comedies and of course photography. In each of Steve’s picture, we find a part of himself. He is fond of pictures with meaning, with stories to tell, pictures that captivates not only the viewer’s attention but resonates with his soul. Crown of beauty is a serie part of that journey of self-discovery, where the photographer’s celebrates african beauty but mostly african creativity through the art of the scarf. He celebrates the African woman ingeniosity in reinventing and redefining an item that was mean to oppress her, and turning it into a Crown of Beauty. This young artist is still at the beginning of his journey.
Crown of Beauty
Crown of Beauty is a series of African women wearing headwraps, a celebration of African culture through studio portraiture. The headwrap serves as an important signifier within black female politics of representation. During the late 18th century, Black and Creole women in Louisiana were forced to wear head wraps, or tignons, because they wore their hair “in such elaborate ways that it attracted the attention of white men.” The provisions were part of the Tignon Laws. British colonists basically classified African hair as closer to sheep wool than human hair. Interestingly, Black women gave an amazing response to the law, and began to wear bright-colored tignons adorning them with jewels and other accessories. They also used different styling techniques to wrap their hair. Thanks to their ingenuity, what was meant to signify Black women as inferior and hide their beauty was actually used to enhance it and became their Crown of Beauty. This series thus serves as a tribute to African women, culture and beauty.

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.