17 March 2019
Gabonese photographer, Marc Posso, speaks with WE THE OUTLIERS on his artistic celebration of African identity and diversity.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Libreville, Gabon, and I now live in Paris, France.
How did you get into photography?
I got my first camera in 2012 for Christmas. At the beginning, it was just for fun. I took some photographs during family celebrations. Then, by growing up, opening my mind, and seeing different people from different African cultures, I developed an interest in portrait photography.
How would you describe the content of your work?
My work is focused on Afro-descendant people and African cultures. My creative inspiration comes from Africa first, my imagination, and from all things existing. I would also say that people or music inspire me.
Can you tell me how the theme of identity is explored in your work?
I think that identity is based on the way we value our culture and customs. My work aims to inspire and celebrate the beauty and diversity of cultures and people from Africa. That is why I use elements with African origins (people, clothes, accessories, traditions) in my projects.
How does your personal history work its way into your art?
I grew up in Gabon, with African realities, cultures, and traditions. Now, I know that all I want to do is to celebrate my continent. I consider it as an inexhaustible source of inspiration thanks to the beauty and the diversity of its stories, songs, people, and all its cultures and landscapes.
What challenges have you faced as an artist?
Everyday, I hear the call of Africa. I would like to go back, but the realities are that I am actually in Paris for my studies. I am lucky to have met and constantly meet people who share the same artistic vision as mine. But I will go back soon because I feel I need to be there to fully explore my potential and my vision.
Self-confidence can be defined as having confidence in one’s own ability to make a choice, make a decision, act and react, or adapt to changes and situations that confront us. Self-confidence is also knowing that you deserve to be happy with who you are and what you are capable of doing. ‘Confidence’ is a series designed to try to help and motivate people who lack self-confidence. They often tend to develop a feeling of inferiority, to judge themselves as negative, and to think that their actions are doomed to failure. They think they can’t do things and get discouraged very quickly. The expression of a lack of self-confidence varies from person to person. While some people prefer to isolate and close themselves, others are vain and arrogant in order to try to hide this lack of self-confidence. Self-confidence can be built and maintained by concrete actions. Its quest represents a long process. It requires patience, courage, and perseverance. Don’t go with a big leap, make the way step by step. Make peace with yourself. Realise that you have only one life and that it is precious; you only have one personality and it is important. Make peace with yourself to overcome this fear of daring, this fear of being judged, this fear of doing things. Surround yourself with people who will motivate you, who will push you to the top, and not let you stagnate or bury yourself. We must stop exacerbating our defects and forgetting our qualities. Learn to know yourself, to accept yourself, and to develop yourself little by little. Don’t be discouraged whatever your age or ambitions. Build yourself, love yourself.
‘Cauris’ is a series illustrating hyper-masculinity and sensitivity. All men have this sensibility that many of them strive to hide. They reject and avoid demonstrating attitudes such as compassion, pain, and emotions that society considers “feminine”. Through the association between man and this shell often likened to a woman, ‘Cauris’ tries to show that men, whoever they are, all have a more sensitive side, a side approaching “femininity”.
What projects have you got coming up?
Currently, I’m working on a project based on African fashion photography inspired by famous African photographers and old photographs of my parents.