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Alliance Francaise holds exhibition celebrating winners of IWPA international photography awards  

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Alliance Francaise Banjul conducted an exciting and captivating photographic exhibition Thursday showcasing works of three outstanding international award winning photographers who received prestigious prizes at the 2023 International Women in Photo Association (IWPA) awards. 

The three recipients Lorraine Turci from France, Lee-Ann Olwage from South-Africa and Luisa Dorr from Brazil were awarded for their exceptional artworks that demonstrate merit, skill, creativity and compelling messages on wide ranging socio-cultural issues.

International Women in Photo is a French non-profit association aiming to create global change and reach gender equality and women empowerment. It acts as a platform by promoting and highlighting women’s voices around the world providing exposure and support to women photographers and visual storytellers. 

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The IWPA annual awards celebrates and honours the best of women photographers and showcases their immense visual storytelling prowess in shaping narratives and driving positive changes.

The exhibition held at the Alliance hall along Kairaba Avenue was graced by diplomats and arts enthusiasts. The audience hailed the works as a testament to the power of arts in transcending borders and fostering cross-cultural connections.

Lorraine Turci, who won the IWPA Special Mention category, is a French professional photographer and multiple award winner. Her work “The Resilience of the Crow” addresses the sense of belonging within the Ainu community of Hokkaido Japan in the dual process of preserving and reinventing its own culture, following prolonged assimilation that has all but erased its society and language.

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ssk3Q9mFUU94WLO23lLf5UXGUJUADlAf4Cloqsuz9inLUSjFGYnXH7Ja5hcjO csdshu9w uu0wH6XJz8KZJFngdb9Lz3wnWMs Turci is invited and hosted by the Alliance Francaise for a two month artistic residency program in Banjul.  “ This is the second year Alliance is partnering with the IWPA to choose 3 award winning women photographers to hold an exhibition in Banjul to promote their works. We also invite a winning French photographer for an artistic residency to work with the Gambian communities, young photographers and civil society organisations to have exchanges and establish links and bridges between our cultures to foster a more understanding and learning of knowledge” Alliance director Justine Guschlbauer said at the exhibition. Lorraine will also work with about 8 young Gambian photographers on their personal projects to help them build their visibility and career paths. Working with Alliance partners in the Gambia she will have the opportunity to explore the Gambia and produce content on issues. 

“The whole purpose of our artistic residency is to invite artists from all around the world, give them tools and spaces to work with partners and Gambian artists to create more content. We hope it will help encourage new artistic projects in the Gambia and to encourage Gambian artists to do more,” director Justine added.

According to Lorraine Turci, the recognition and appreciation of her work energises her to do more for society, impacting people’s lives and inspiring emerging photographers. “Gambia is a new experience for me. And I am trying to learn about everyday life in the country. I want to meet as many people as possible and also understand the environment and its realities. The people and territory are into each other and there are many initiatives here that people are working actively about making their community and territory as good as possible.” 

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Turci is a freelance photographer and her work focuses on the complex relationships between human beings and their environment, exploring the interactions between territory, identity, transmission, nature, evolution and preservation. 

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