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Prestigious London Exhibition to bring 5 African Women Photographers to NUA

Images of African beauty contests and street fashions are among a range of photographs exploring issues of sexuality, identity and displacement by five women African photographers in an exhibition of their work which comes to The Gallery at Norwich University of the Arts next week.

Reflections on the Self, a Hayward Touring exhibition which opened at London’s Southbank Centre in March, presents women’s visual narratives, as told through self-portraits and portraits of other women. The photographers are women whose views of the world have been shaped by their own experiences in Africa and the diaspora.

The exhibition was conceived as part of the Royal Festival Hall’s Women of the World Festival in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Women International Day. NUA is the first venue of a nationwide tour curated by London-based art critic and independent curator Christine Eyene, which includes Reading, Lancaster, Hexham and Halifax.

Woman's reflection in mirrorID series, 2003, © Senayt Samuel 2010, Courtesy of the artist

The five photographers participating in the exhibition are Hélène Amouzou (Togo), Majida Khattari (Morocco), Zanele Muholi (South Africa), Senayt Samuel (Eritrea) and Nontsikelelo Veleko (South Africa).

Christine Eyene is also Curator of Gwanza – Month of Photography 2011 in the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare (August 2011) and the African section of the third edition of Photoquai – Biennial of World Images in the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris (September 2011).

Christine Eyene will give a talk about the exhibition on Thursday 13th October at NUA. She comments: “The imagery acts as a means of thinking about the ‘self’, both as subject and as object. These photographs reveal some of the ways in which women see themselves, and also how the female gaze is informed by the politics of representation.”

NUA Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) Neil Powell adds: “We are delighted to start the 2011/12 gallery programme and new academic year, where we welcome the largest ever intake of new students to Norwich University of the Arts, with this prestigious new touring exhibition from the South Bank Centre.”

The exhibition runs in The Gallery at NUA on St Georges Street from Tuesday 27th September to Saturday 15th October (free entry to the public 12pm-5pm, closed Sundays). In conjunction with the exhibition the event In Conversation with Christine Eyene will take place on Thursday 13th October (5pm-7pm) at NUA’s Duke Street Building. Places at this event can be reserved by emailing gallery@nua.ac.uk. For a preview of the work on display in The Gallery at NUA visit www.nua.ac.uk/thegallery.

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