Miora Rajaonary: Documentary Photographer from Madagascar | African Digital Art

Miora Rajaonary is a documentary photographer from Madagascar, now based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work captures contemporary Africa, focusing on social issues and identities, and presents an exploration of the diverse cultures of Africa.

Born and raised in Madagascar, Rajaonary’s work reflects her deep African roots. She uses her photography to highlight issues that might otherwise be overlooked. Her work goes beyond traditional documentary photography, combining artistry with an understanding of the socio-cultural landscape. Her photos aren’t just images; they’re narratives that spark thought and conversation.

Rajaonary has made a significant contribution to documentary photography. Her work reminds us of the role of art in society: not just to create beauty, but to reveal truth, inspire thought, and stimulate change. Her photos give us a look into contemporary Africa, a continent that is often misunderstood.

A lamba is the traditional garment worn by men and women that live in Madagascar. The textile, highly emblematic of Malagasy culture, consists of a rectangular length of cloth wrapped around the body. » LAMBA is a photography project intended to show how this Malagasy garment, serves as a valued symbol of the island’s cultural heritage, beyond its role as elegant and ornamental clothing, We, Malagasy, offer cloth in return for blessings, or to demonstrate ethnic identity, status and ties of mutual respect, love and loyalty. For instance, men offer cloth to their brides at marriage; bride and groom are encircled in a single cloth to symbolize their union; and descendants honour their ancestors by wrapping their remains in a lambamena, the silk burial shroud, during traditional rites. This project takes form as a portrait series inspired by the traditional of African studio portraiture, and shot with a medium-format film camera. For each picture, I systematically used a lambahoany (a printed cotton lamba typically featuring a proverb on the lower border of the design, presently the most commonly worn type of lamba) as a background.

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