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14 Apr 2014

International Photography Festival Knokke-Heist 2014

Namsa Leuba, Vili statuette, Fanta, Guinea, 2011. C-print, 28 x 35 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Exhibitions 'Haute Africa' and 'Unknown Masterpieces'
Scharpoord Cultural Centre and Town council of Knokke-Heist


International Photography Festival Knokke-Heist 2014:
from 30 March up to and including 9 June 2014
Haute Africa: free outdoor exhibition, 16 locations in Knokke-Heist.
Maps can be obtained from the Tourist Office or the Scharpoord Cultural Centre or online.
Unknown Masterpieces: free exhibition, Cultural Centre. Open every day from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.


+32 50 630 430

Scharpoord Cultural Centre Knokke-Heist
Meerlaan 32
8300 Knokke-Heist

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From 30 March up to and including 9 June 2014, Knokke-Heist will once again focus on contemporary photography.

The Photo Festival's main exhibition, 'Haute Africa', highlights the work of several leading international photographers in various locations in Knokke-Heist's public space. Photos have been beautifully integrated in the intimate Zoute Church as well as along Zeedijk and in the dunes of the J. Stübben Park, for example.

'Haute Africa' focuses on the work of photographers who are not interested in African fashion per se but who choose instead to conduct an anthropological study of contemporary African clothing culture. Several African countries, including Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia have a flourishing economy. South Africa's economy is the largest in Africa, making it a major global player. These countries primarily owe their progress to the exploitation of the minerals in Africa's rich soil, but creative and sustainable economies are also seeing growth.

The fashion industry is a good example of such a creative industry. Many African designers, entrepreneurs and photographers inspire the world with new designs that convey and renew African identity. Their creations find their way to the West, through the Internet, during international fashion weeks and thanks to several initiatives aimed at promoting fashion. Artists and photographers soon also noticed this development. They use clothing cultures to better understand the convictions, thoughts and feelings of the wearers or the history of a particular place. They examine such topics as Westernisation, post-Colonialism, race and gender equality, religious beliefs or political power.

The participating artists/photographers are: Martin Parr, Wangechi Mutu, Viviane Sassen, Zanele Muholi, Jodi Bieber, Jim Naughten, Phyllis Galembo, Héctor Mediavilla, Sabelo Mlangeni, Jehad Nga, Hassan Hajjaj, Nontsikelelo Veleko, Baudouin Mouanda, Daniele Tamagni, Namsa Leuba and Yinka Shonibare.

But Knokke-Heist also gives lesser-known talent a platform. In the Scharpoord Cultural Centre, you can visit 'Unknown Masterpieces', an artistic free exhibition that highlights the photos of tomorrow's trendsetters.

The photo world has a lot of hidden talent, including close to home. In the exhibition entitled 'Unknown Masterpieces', the curators, Stephane Verheye and Freddy Van Vlaenderen, highlight contemporary home-grown photography. 'We want to give emerging photo talent that is not very well known the opportunity to put themselves in the spotlight with work that strays off the beaten path. We mainly focused on prospection and innovation. The intention is to encourage a debate in our rapidly changing digital society, which undoubtedly also leads to uniformity, about various themes such as love, confusion, coldness, simplicity, war, injustice and oppression', the curators said.

Unknown Masterpieces showcases the work of Julie Scheurweghs, Jef Paepen, Aaron Lapeirre, Martine Laquiere, Dirk Janssens, Arno de Pooter, Veerle Scheppers, Jamie-Lee Sienes, Dieter Vanfraechem, Maroesjka Lavigne and Danny Van der Elst. These photographers are considered trendsetters because of the composition, impact, symbolism and power of their work.