Joana Choumali, born in 1974, is visual artist based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. She studied graphic arts in Casablanca (Morocco) and worked as an art director in an advertising agency before embarking on her photography career. She works mainly on conceptual photography and mixed media.
Much of her work focuses on Africa, and what she learns about the innumerable cultures around her. Her work allows her to explore the assumptions she has and nurtured her world views. In her latest works, Joana embroiders directly on the images completing the act of creating the photograph image with the slow and meditative gesture. Her most recent artworks are unique objects enriched by her choice of textiles and sense of color. In Abidjan, Joana has exhibited at the Museum of Civilizations, the Donwahi Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Rotonde des Arts, and Palais de la Culture.
Abroad: she exhibited during the Photoquai Biennale at the Musée du Quai Branly (Paris), at the Troppenmuseum in (Amsterdam) , at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa , (Zeitz Mocaa) Capetown , at the Fondation Blachère, at the Bamako International Photography Biennale, at the Lagos Photo Festival. In 2014, she won the POPCAP14 International Photography Award and the Emerging Photographer LensCulture Award. In 2016, she received the Magnum Emergency Grant Foundation, and the Fourthwall Books Award in South Africa
In 2017, she exhibited her series “Translation” and “Adorn” at the Pavilion of the Ivory Coast during the 57th Venice International Biennale. Her work has been published in the international press :CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, El Pais, Le Monde, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Harper Bazaar Art etc.