Tuesday, 11 October 2011

'Beauty Beyond Ego': A Tribute to Rural African Women


Gallery Watatu presents master photographer Giulio d’Ercole in his lyrical ode to the women of Africa in 'Beauty Beyond Ego', showing from Sunday October 16th – October 30th 2011. You are invited to attend the opening day, Sunday October 16th, 2011 at 2pm. The guest of honour shall be Hanna Grapinski , Polish Ambassador.

 Giulio DErcole Beauty-Beyond Ego
The beauty of rural African women in Beauty Beyond Ego


About Giulio D’Ercole
Giulio D’Ercole is a photographer and filmmaker born in Rome, Italy in 1961. Since 1989 Giulio works internationally in TV, Film and Media production. In 2003 he came to Kenya and, captivated by the unique and unprecedented interplay of the social and geographical features of this region of the world, decided to found his own media company, Canvas Africa Productions.

Giulio-DErcole-Beauty-Beyond-Ego2.jpg


Through his work Giulio witnesses and documents the living history of Africa. Canvas Africa Productions is entirely devoted to producing photography and documentaries on humanitarian projects, social issues but most of all people and their lives.  
Giulio D’Ercole has since worked with a number of major UN Agencies and NGOs. He has already successfully exhibited his work at the Italian Institute of Culture, RaMoma, Le Rustique, Alliance Francaise, the American Embassy etc. His photographs have been published in several humanitarian publications and by the prestigious New York Times Lens. His collection “Life in Lake Turkana” is now shown at the Biennale di Venezia 2011.

Giulio DErcole-Beauty Beyond Ego


Rural African Women – Beauty Beyond Ego
"With this exhibition I would like to pay a special and self-standing tribute to Rural African Women. The value of this collection is not only in its photographic value, but mainly in the subjects portrayed.There is a beauty in rural African Women that goes beyond what we normally think beauty is, beyond the egocentric concept of looks, appearance and even beyond the concept of inner beauty," he says.

Giulio DErcole-Beauty Beyond Ego Giulio DErcole-Beauty Beyond  Ego

He continues, "It is a beauty that lies in lives that have been forced to deny themselves the most basic pleasures and human rights, and go through life suffering its hardship: forced marriages, forced pregnancies, forced labor, rapes, abandonments, discrimination and finally the fading out into a most insecure old age, when, maybe, they will finally experience at least the joy of grandchildren playing around them."

"And yet these women are still able to donate smiles, looks, openness that can leave an eternal mark in those who can see these gifts. And I am not talking here about the ridiculous myth of the bon sauvage. No, I am talking of a beauty going beyond what we know or what we are used to, because this beauty includes all sorts of layers: tenderness, motherhood, sensuality, joy, sadness, curiosity, shyness, pride, humility, submissiveness and yet power: The power of infinite femininity at the rawest and most natural, pure level."

Giulio DErcole-Beauty Beyond Ego
Giulio DErcole-Beauty Beyond Ego Giulio DErcole-Beauty Beyond Ego

"A power even stronger because unused, unexploited, forgotten. Their beauty is a miracle that does not serve anybody, does not benefit anybody, it is not enhanced, distorted or hidden by any make up or coquetry. It is not reflected in any mirror, simply because most often then not they don’t possess mirrors in their homes. The Ego here is gone. It is forgotten."
"That is why when I show them the back of my camera and they see themselves in the LCD, they laugh out loudly turning their heads, and then, excited, pointing again at the small screen, amazed not by their looks but by finding themselves captured in such a small thing."

"….And amazingly they thank me, as if it was me giving them a gift and not the other way around."

For more inquiries, please contact:
Gallery Watatu Ltd,
Tel: + 254 20 2024857
Lonrho House, Mezzanine Floor
P.O. Box 41855, Nairobi, Kenya.

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