Montreal-based photographer Yannis Davy Guibinga, who was born and raised in Gabon, recently asked an auditorium of people at the University of Toronto, “Can you believe that in 2017, some people still think Africa’s a country?” Everyone laughed. He smiled, “It’s funny, but it’s true.” Then he looked at the audience seriously. The tone shifted.
At twenty-two, Guibinga is part of a growing movement of young artists reshaping the way the world understands Africa and its diaspora. His voice rises above the din of centuries of misinformation, prejudice, and revised history to tell personal and universal stories about what it means to be part of the continent.
Guibinga’s portraits are rooted in honesty. They’re the antidote to the piles of European colonial photographs that portrayed African people, their families, and their lives as “inferior” or “primitive.” If photography can lie about Africa, and it has, perhaps it can also reveal the truth.