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Namsa Leuba_Explorer of the Spiritual_Interview

 
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Posted on Oct 18 2015

Namsa 
Leuba-ladiesngents

Namsa 
Leuba-ladiesngents





Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents

For WAD magazine n° 53 / Cocktail
Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents
For WAD magazine n° 53 / Cocktail



How old were you when you first started having an interest in photography, as art?
At the time, what was it that you liked to take photographs of?

In 2004, I studied Design of Information in the Art School of La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH). When I was in my second degree, I realised that I wanted to improve in photography. In 2011, I graduated from ECAL/ University of art and design in Lausanne, obtaining a BA in photography. During my studies I developed a curiosity, sensitivity and a particular focus towards the world around me. For few years now, my research has been focused on African identity through Western eyes.




Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents




Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents

Zulu Kids



Namsa 
Leuba-ladiesngents




Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents

YaKalaBen



You grew up as the daughter of a Guinean mother and a Swiss father - in what way did your Guinean and
Swiss heritage influenced the way you view the world as a photographer?

I think to be a mix of cultures is a great wealth. I am an African-European, born in Switzerland.
My parents instilled in me both cultures and shared their history as well. When I began at ECAL University of Art and Design, I knew that I wanted to deepen my knowledge about my African heritage and I decided to focus my work on African culture.





Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents

Khoi San




Namsa 
Leuba-ladiesngents

Marlène




Namsa 
Leuba-ladiesngents
For WAD magazine n° 53 / Cocktail




For your project Ya Kala Ben, you write that you have studied "ritual artifacts common to the cosmology of Guineans; statuettes
that are part of a ceremonial structure”. What drew your interest to these artefacts in the first place? And what is the feeling or impression that you want the pictures that were inspired by them to convey to the viewer?

 All I knew before the trip was that my mother is muslim and that my father is a protestant, although I’ve not been baptized. The religious aspect of my mother’s country became very prominent. I discovered an animist side to the Guinean culture which is based on people’s respect for it. I had been exposed to the supernatural part of Guinea as since I was a child, I visited ‘marabouts’ (some type of witches) and this time around took part in many ceremonies and rituals. And for me it was important to do this work, because now I feel more aware of this situation, the existence of a parallel world, and the world of spirit.

I selected the elements meticulously for the functions of my picture.  This world is based on rigour, with everything in its place. 
While recontextualizing African elements through my camera, I bring them into a framework for Occidental taste and aesthetic choices.  I try to transform and put a symbol back into Western intention. I am particularly interested in the attribution of religious or mystical qualities to inanimate objects known as fetishes. The myths, the force of nature, and the deep, intuitive, impulsive culture of Africa offered me a lot of creative inspiration. My approach was to separate those sacred statuettes from their religious context in order to immortalize them in a Western framework.






Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents




Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents

The African Queens – New York magazine




Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents




Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents

Zulu Kids




 Does taking pictures of people who are not professional models pose specific challenges to you?
I like working with non professional people. They don’t try to be fake.





Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents




Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents









Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents

YaKalaBen




What part does fashion play in your life?
While making ‘Ya Kala Ben,’ I was inspired by African statuettes; but there is another context and another meaning, fashion wise.  I enjoy fashion photography, and sometime I draw on that to make sure the series isn’t boring.





Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents




Namsa Leuba-ladiesngents

Zulu Kids




namsaleuba.com



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