MASKE by Phyllis Galembo is featuring Phyllis Galembo’s thrilling 107 photographs of masquerade and carnival characters, from Zambia, Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Haiti. The introduction was written by Chika Okeke-Agulu, who took part himself in masquerade events during his childhood in Nigeria. Designed as an object to treasure, the book is a serious contribution to studies of African art, an essay about the transformative power of dress, and a work of vivid artistic imagination.
Phyllis Galembo began photographing the characters and costumes of African masquerade in Nigeria in 1985, developing her theme throughout Africa and the Carribean. Since then, she has traveled widely in west and central Africa, and regularly to Haiti, making portraits that document and describe the transformative power of the mask.
Her subjects are participants in masquerade events, both traditional African ceremonies and contemporary fancy dress and carnival, all of whom use costume, body paint and masks to create mythic characters – sometimes entertaining and humorous, often dark and rightening, and always powerful and thrilling. Titled after the Haitian Kreyòl word for mask, Maske is the first comprehensive collection of these portraits.
MASKE by Phyllis Galembo
Introduction by Chika Okeke-Agulu
Size: 215mm x 235 mm (8.5 x 9.5 inches), upright
Extent: 192 pp
Cover: Akata Masquerade, Eshinjok Village, Nigeria 2004
By Paulo Meixedo