Born in Libreville, Gabon, Michèle Bygodt’s interest in photography began as a teenager when her father’s work led her to live in 5 different countries, in both Africa and Europe. Living in a multicultural environment, and later on, moving from one country to another ignited her interest in travel photography, cultural diversity, differences, and similarities. She graduated with a BA in graphic design and sciences in Paris before deciding to move to Vancouver in 2016 to pursue photography. After attending the Emily Carr University of Art+Design, she graduated with a BFA in 2019. Currently, a majority of her work focuses on fine art, commercial, and fashion photography.
‘Gnoul’, also translated as ‘body’ in English from the Fang language of Gabon, consists of a series of black and white images that question the term ‘Black bodies’, often used by scientists or media to refer to Black people. The term ‘body’ to mean ‘people’ is used to identify a group of human beings in a specific social and economical context who have been or are being treated as objects.
In this photographic project, I question its usage, how it in fact reproduces the objectification that it is supposed to be identifying, and the Authority hidden behind it.
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