Joana Choumali works primarily with conceptual portraiture, mixed media and documentary forms. She uses her work as a means to explore the intricate identities of those around her. With a thematic focus on the African continent, her work aims to disrupt erroneous preconceptions of a homogenous, continent-wide identity. Choumali is also concerned with issues of gender, and the supposed binary between tradition and modernity. In her series Ça va aller.., she expresses the trauma and psychological suffering endured by the inhabitants of Bassam after the terrorist attacks in March 2016.
Choumali is the 2019 recipient of the Prix Pictet. Recent exhibitions include Welcome Home, Musée d’Art Contemporain Africain Al Maaden (MACAAL), Marrakech (2019); Afrotopia, Biennale Internationale de la Photographie Africaine de Bamako, Bamako (2017); Africa Forecast, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta; Persona, the social mask, Les Rencontres d’Arles and We the People, Biennale Internationale d’Art Contemporain de Casablanca, Casablanca (2016).