Announcing the Recipient of the democraSEE 1

Georges Senga


Senga is the inaugural recipient of the democraSEE award, democraSEE 1. With the R40,000 grant, he will work in collaboration with a mentor/curator of his choice to produce a body of work over the next year. Further, he will be supported through critique sessions with various appointed subject and practice experts, as well as support from Photo:. On completion, the work will be published on

Senga was born in Lubumbashi in 1983, where he lives and works. His work considers the conflicted terrain of identity, heritage and history and how it intersects with memory. He presented Footprint at the 2009 Rencontres Picha Biennale de Lubumbashi and subsequently developed series of works including Kadogos, A life after death and recently Cette maison n’est pas à vendre et à vendre.His work has been shown at the Rencontres de Bamako, Kamapala Biennale, Mu.zee in Oostende amongst others.

Senga was announced the recipient of the award at the Rencontres de Bamako, Biennale of African Photography, Mali on 4 Dec 2017. The shortlist included Jody Brand and Matt Kay.

democraSEE Critique Sessions
21-22 Nov 2018
With special thanks to respondents: Ilan Godfey, Mikhael Subotzky, Katarina Hedrén, Musa Nxumalo, Michelle Loukidis and Antawan Byrd. 


Notes from the selection panel:

Sammy Baloji:
Senga’s ease at finding interesting stories that are right here, next to us, and make them into strong narratives is notable.  For instance, in Kadogos, boys become soldiers in simple games - just playing. But it talks to the violence that the country (DRC) is going through – society is preparing boys to fight, not protecting them.

Dana Whabira:
Senga shows great breadth of practice and skill, with a sophisticated multidimensional approach to his work and a beautiful photography proposal for democraSEE.

Ingrid Masondo:
It is fascinating how Senga taps into memory. Even though the project is about a simple place it works as a metaphor for many larger more complicated issues –colonialism, history and the place and role of image - in a poetic way.

Mauro Pinto:
It is clear that the photographer has a great tone in his visual language.

John Fleetwood:
Beyond the poetics of his work, there is a real urgency about the world that he deals with. His use of metaphors, allows us to engage with this hard world.

Announcing the democraSEE 1 Shortlist

Photo: is proud to announce the shortlisted candidates
for democraSEE 1

Matt Kay
Jody Brand
Georges Senga

The recipient of democraSEE 1 will be announced at the Rencontres de Bamako, Biennale for African Photography on Monday 4 Dec 2017, after 16h00, Bamako, Mali. For more information about the shortlisted candidates, please see below. Shortlist: 

The selection panel for democraSEE1 consisted of leading regional and international experts: Sammy Baloji, Dana Whabira, Mauro Pinto, Ingrid Masondo and John Fleetwood.  For more information about the selection panel, please see below. Selection panel:


Matt Kay


Matt Kay is a photographer based in Durban, South Africa. Kay’s work deals with the deconstruction of narrative, memory and fiction of images linked to his growing up within the South African countryside. He was the 2014 Tierney Fellow, mentored by David Goldblatt, producing a solo exhibition The Front at the Photo Workshop Gallery, Johannesburg, 2015. His work Losing Ground was exhibited as part of the 20th Biel Festival of Photography, Switzerland in 2016. He was nominated for the Paul Huf Award in2017.

Jody Brand


Jody Brand was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1989; and lives and works there. She has been documenting alternative African realities, wanting to create a future where femme-identified people can flourish. She pursues this through occupying spaces and the radical representation of those who dare to be different. Group shows include Guggenheim Bilbao (2016); The Quiet Violence of Dreams at Stevenson (2016) and Being Thereat Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2017). She is a 2017recipient of a Thami Mnyele Foundation residency in Amsterdam.

Georges Senga


Georges Senga Assani was born in 1983 and lives in Lubumbashi,DRC. Senga’s work considers the conflicted terrain of identity, heritage and history and how it intersects with memory. He presented Footprintat the 2009 Rencontres Picha Biennale de Lubumbashi and subsequently developed series of works including Kadogos, A life after death and recently Cette maison n’est pas à vendre et à vendre.His work has been shown at the Rencontres Bamako, Kamapala Biennale, Mu.zee in Oostendeamongst others.

selection panel

The selection panel for democraSEE 1 consists of leading regional and international experts. They are Sammy Baloji, Dana Whabira, Mauro Pinto, Ingrid Masondo and John Fleetwood.

Sammy Baloji is an artist and co-founder of the Picha Encounters - Biennale of Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo. His work deals with the colonial and postcolonial narratives of social history, ethnography and urbanism. Baloji studied Computer and Information Sciences and Communication at the University of Lubumbashi. Most recently, Baloji’s work was exhibited in documenta14 in Kassel, Germany (2017). Along with his work exhibited widely internationally, he has authored numerous books.


Dana Whabira is a Zimbabwean artist, architect and cultural facilitator. She is the founder of Njelele Art Station, an urban laboratory in Hararethat focuses on contemporary, experimental and public art practice. Her first solo exhibition was held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (2013) and she has participated in group shows, in addition to taking up art residencies and giving talks locally and internationally. Whabira is currently representing Zimbabwe at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017).


Mauro Pinto is a photographer living in Maputo,Mozambique.He was introduced to and would later learn under the guidance of José Machado and Ricardo Rangel as well as Trygve Bolstad, Karl Kugel, etc. In 2009, with Gonçalo Mabunda, he begins the project Karl Marx 1834, transforming a residence into a gallery, hosting projects of national and foreign artists. He won the Bes Photo 2012, exhibiting in Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbonand Pinacoteca de São Paulo. His work has been widely exhibited and published.

Ingrid Masondo is an arts, music and cultural worker, currently working as the curator of Photography and New Media at the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town. She trained at the Market Photo Workshop where she later worked as Projects and Curriculum Manager. She managed the photographic collections at the Mayibuye Archives at the University of the Western Cape, where she completed an MA in Public and Visual History.


John Fleetwood is a photography curator and educator. He is the director of Photo:, a platform that develops photography projects, mainly working with photographers from the African continent. He has curated numerous exhibitions such as Cities and Memory (2016), Against Time (2015), A Return to Elsewhere (2014), Transition(2013) in Africa and Europe. From 2002 to 2015 he was the Head of the Market Photo Workshop, a photography school, gallery and project space. Fleetwood lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.