Joana Choumali studied graphic design in Casablanca, Morocco. She then worked as an artistic director with an advertising agency before beginning her professional photography career. Conceptual photography and mixed media are her current modes of expression, most often reflecting a documentary approach.
Since 2016, Choumali has integrated textiles into her photographic work. Following the attack at Grand-Bassam in Abidjan, the artist captured a series of images in this peaceful seaside resort — one she associated with happy childhood memories and family gatherings. The tragic and brutal event generated a deep sadness, most often translated by the people into words using the formula ‘we’ll be fine.’
Looking at these images, shot on an iPhone, an idea came to the artist to embroider them. With this slow and meditative gesture, the artist intends to offer tribute to the victims and to seek healing for the wounds inflicted. Choumali received the prestigious Prix Pictet for this series in October 2019.