The place to Explore Benin and its Culture
Mayeul Akpovi, a Beninese photographer and filmmaker, has done a remarkable work capturing and curating visual arts portraying Benin as it is today. Anyone exposed to his work will not only be mesmerized by his storytelling but also, by how he is showing a side of Benin and other countries through a different perspective. He will capture and increase your curiosity via his portraits , draw your attention on unique details and aspects via his pictures and videos and inspire you to want to discover more about Benin.
According to his website, here is how he portrayed himself:
“Born in Cotonou (Benin), Mayeul Akpovi is an all-round beninese photographer. A studied information scientist, Mayeul only started to make photographs by the end of 2011 in Besançon (France) from a personal insight. He sees himself more a photographer than a filmmaker, and practical the timelapse photography and also try other types of photography (urban, portraits, weddings, street, …)”.
I would add to this biography that Mayeul can be considered a visionary in African photography and filmmaking because he strives to flawlessly show a side of the Beninese cities unlike others. Most images shown by the media about Benin or Africa in general, put too much emphases on the wilderness or on population living in remote places. There is an aspect of sensationalizing the taboo or non-ordinary in order to grab viewer’s attention.A line has to be drawn to ensure that information shared isn’t affecting the perception of the viewers as there is another side that remains unseen, unknown and unheard of.
We are creatures of habit by absorbing information without thinking or questioning what’s being portrayed. Therefore, it becomes important and valuable to have talents such as Mayeul Akpovi because he gives a different and refreshing perspectives on how to portray current images of Benin. Although there is nothing wrong with continuing the trend of commercializing the Safari or making Africa a charity case, it however leads some individuals to have a skewed idea on some of the well known reality on Benin and Africa in general. The focus needs to steer away from sensationalizing the troubles Africa faces or the common mass marketed commercial activities to putting the focus on more current state of Africa and how modern Africans are living their lives in present days.
Benin takes pride in it culture and lifestyle. For example, those living in Ganvié, a city completely built on water, are not ashamed of the choices they’ve made. Intheir mind, it is how their lives are meant to be and they are proud of it. In addition, in Benin as well as many countries in Africa, there is a plethora of lifestyles and interests which can be compared to those in the West and further except, each African country add in their unique special cultural flair. The work of creative individuals such as Mayeul Akpovi has to be applauded and encouraged as he shares facets of countries as they are today and from a perspective of a local.
Mayeul Akpovi is a Beninese visionary who is helping by exposing Benin, it culture and people. His passion and love for the country has contributed in creating a positive, accurate and current image of Benin. He is one to be admired and supported as through his art work, the world is able to be exposed to a country that should entice more exploration as it has so many wonders and richness to discover.
To find out more about Mayeul Akpovi, visit his website for further information. To get more day to day information of all his activities and projects, follow him through Instagram and Facebook. We guarantee that viewing some of his images, you increase your curiosity about Benin and entice a seasoned traveler to want to visit the country.