Joël Tettamanti. Ayomé

Ayomé, Togo. 2011
photo essay published in Domus #949
all images © JOËL TETTAMANTI

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Africa has always been a guideline in my life and in my photographic work. I live and work in Switzerland, but I was born in Cameron and grew up in Lesotho until the age of 7. My parents lived and worked in Africa many years, they are now living in Togo, in a small village called Ayomé.

These pictures shown are part of an ongoing project that I started a few weeks ago in Togo, it’s in the continuity of my previous works, based on the study of the relationship between the architecture, the landscape, the human and their identities.

The unique African architecture, the population and this very complex link with the politics and their relation to history has always attracted me, first in Lesotho (study Maloting, 2004), later in Niger (study Zagaya, 2006) and now in Togo (Ayomé, 2011). I take all my pictures with a 4 x 5″ analog camera.

This work is though very personal, about the complex emotions that I was in since my childhood. First the European culture in Africa and then the African culture in Europe. – JOËL TETTAMANTI for Domus #949

JOËL TETTAMANTI studied visual communication and photography at the Ecole
Cantonale d’Art Lausanne (ECAL) from 1997 to 2001. His first independent work was
dedicated to the landscape of the Swiss mountains (“Cols alpins”, 2001) and the
agglomerations around major Swiss cities (“Stadtland Schweiz”, 2002). Since then,
he has never ceased to travel – without travel guides – to places where he gains
inspiration for memorable photographs through chance and unforeseen encounters.
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I have no system- I work simply when I am excited by the place. When I arrive
somewhere new and am on a different time zone often I work as the new place sleeps.
This I like, it tells a story of how photographers can live.
- JOËL TETTAMANTI for Dazed Digital


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