TTLC Annual Mentorship Award
Each year Through The Lens Collective awards a year- long mentorship towards a body of work to a promising African photographer. Through collaborative research, thinking and consultation, mentees are challenged, guided and supported over a year long period, with the aim of producing a solid and well considered photographic narrative. TTLC then works with the photographer for another year to develop avenues for professional engagement of the work, which can be used as a springboard for opportunities beyond the mentorship itself. The mentorship is designed to strengthen the practices of local photographers by providing a critical educational framework and a responsive yet focused system for development.
Previous and current mentees include Flavio Cardoso (Angola), Dewald Bruwer (South Africa), Saad Eltinay (Sudan) and Godelive Kasangati (DRC).
" I received a mentorship from TTL in 2019 while being a resident artist in Johannesburg. TTL helped me build and develop my series "Chameleon". They made me understand how I could express myself and make a political statement through photography. Working carefully on concept, narrative and visuals TTL definitely changed the way I perceive and understand the medium. By getting to know my personal story they've been pushing me and my work in an incredible direction. "Chameleon" has been awarded 2nd prize of the Pride Photo Award Amsterdam 2019 and shortlisted for Cap Prize Basel 2020. I still work in a close relationship with TTL, they made me fall in love with photography forever. Thanks to my wonderful Michelle(s), I feel so honoured to have been mentored by them."
TTLC WOMAN'S MENTORSHIP AWARD
Godelive Kasangati Kabena
We are proud to announce Godelive Kasangati Kabena as the recipient of the first TTLC Women’s Mentorship Award.
Godelive Kasangati Kabena was born in Democratic Republic of Congo in 1996. Her black and white photography, often staged/constructed self-portraits brings a distinctly conceptual approach to her exploration of identity, memory and human experience.
Through The Lens Collective’s Women’s Mentorship award is designed to support and strengthen the practices of female identifying African photographers who have demonstrated a consistent critical engagement with their own practice, and a desire to elevate their photography through a process of close personal mentorship, and the creation of a body of work.
TTLC's 2019 Mentorship Award Recipient.
Coming from four years on Instagram, the very first question I asked Michelle Loukidis when I met her during the 2018 Catchupa Factory Residency was how one teaches something as subjective as photography. She replied that it was a process of opening up your mind, and that is exactly what she did. Working with her and Michelle Harris, it allowed me to develop my practice in ways I never considered before. Michelle has guided me with her vast knowledge, by discussing ideas, relevant work, continuous experimenting and curating. She motivated me and guided me to produce my first Body Of Work, called ALiEN. I was able to understand the relationship between photography and reality, and reach that which lies beneath the surface. ALiEN was selected to be part of LagosPhoto Festival 2019 and has been shortlisted for CAP 2020. He was also the recipient of the first TTLC Mentorship Award.
TTLC's 2021 Mentorship Award Recipient. (Work in progress)
Dewald Bruwer was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1987. He started photographing in 2007 when enrolling in a 2 year photography course from 2007 - 2009. After a long absence from photography, it was not until 2013 when he discovered street photography and personal documentation that he started taking the medium seriously. His current work abstracts reality, yet reveals certain truths of himself, his environment, and his chance encounters with others during his wanderings through the city of Cape Town.
"Working within the public domain, my attention and goal has never been to contribute to any social commentary, but I will be naive to think that my environment does not impact on how I feel and observe my surroundings. I follow my intuition and instinct, resulting in photos that reflect aspects of myself....An invitation to the atmosphere I experience. Although the work has a subjective vision, it reveals the common complexities of existence. Thus, anything that is truly personal becomes universal." Dewald Bruwer
TTLC's 2022 Mentorship Award Recipient. (Work in progress)
Saad Eltinay is a Sudanese photographer based in Khartoum. He graduated as a software engineer in 2018 and has explored his passion for visual arts and photography since 2012. Using the practice as an occasional refuge and a method for self- expression, Saad’s observational approach is inspired by his interest in notions of emotion and memory. In the process, he questions his surroundings and ruminates on how space and society interact as constituents of change. His works on the Sudanese Revolution have been shown in several local and international exhibitions and publications.
Cover Image by Nonzuzo Gxekwa