KÉLÉMA – Visions of Brazza (Souvenirs de Brazza) is a photo series presenting themes of identity, connection, and relationship with home, during Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival 2021.
The artist conveys the experience of her 2015 trip back to Congo – Brazzaville. She reveals social reflections on the narrow standards of society and discusses themes such as sexism, over-consumption, and role models for brothers and sisters.
The photographs interplay with poems by the artist written by hand or heard in voiceover.
In the background, audio captured on the spot in the streets of Brazzaville back in 2015 reflects the atmosphere of the city.
This photo series is called “KÉLÉMA” in reference of its meaning in lingala*: "Rainbow"
Lingala is one of the official languages of Congo Brazzaville*
“With Kéléma, I hope to encourage the viewer to appreciate their culture, their personal identity, and to provide an opportunity to share their traditions with pride and honor.” — Cynthia-Laure Etom
Cynthia-Laure aka Cleow is a french media & visual artist, journalist and global communications consultant, with congolese origins, presently based in Toronto.
Her work invites shifting perspectives through immersive experiences and interactive storytelling.
She wants to inspire self-reflection, different ways of thinking about communities through untold stories about identity, roots, being and mental health. Cleow draws inspiration from her origins, travels, as well as the stories of a new generation of black immigrant women.