African Catwalk – Per-Anders Pettersson

The award-winning photographer Per-Anders Pettersson visited his first fashion week in Johannesburg in 2009. He had been commissioned by the German newspaper Stern to document South Africa’s new black middle class and became fascinated by its colorful and progressive fashion scene.

Since then, Pettersson has visited more than 40 fashion weeks in countries throughout Africa. With camera in hand, he quickly became a familiar face at numerous fashion shows. The result is an exciting photojournalistic overview of the continent’s lively, multicultural fashion industry. The exhibition takes us behind the scenes of this sophisticated world of glitter and glamour. Pettersson’s images depict supermodels at fittings, fashion shoots, and fashion shows featuring clothes by famous designers like Marianne Fassler, Taibo Bacar and Laduma Ngxokolo, whose creations have attracted the attention of celebrities like Beyoncé. Even jewelry and accessories are visible, such as Kenyan designer Ami Doshi Shah’s spectacular headpiece of antelope skull and gold chains.

In fact, African Catwalk is much more than simply documentary photography. The designers highlighted in the exhibition challenge Western stereotypes about African fashion, in addition to the one-dimensional perception of Africa as nothing more than a war-torn continent plagued by poverty, disease and conflict. African Catwalk is instead a testament to this vibrant, young, and ambitious fashion scene that has proven itself a force to be reckoned with. Per-Anders Pettersson (born 1967) is a Swedish photographer based in Cape Town, South Africa. During his 30-year career, he has covered a wide range of international news events and worked in over thirty African countries. His images have won several awards including World Press Photo, NPPA and Unicef Photo of the Year. Pettersson has had several exhibitions in Sweden as well as internationally. His book African Catwalk was published in June 2016.

Designers and labels depicted in the photographs include:
Mood, Naked Ape, Mickael Kra, Ami Doshi Shah, Khosi Nkosi, Taibo Bacar, House of Jola, Martial Tapolo Couture, Stoned Cherrie, Liz Ogumbo, David Tlale, Zamaswazi, Spero Villioti, Yemo Osunkoya, CSquared, Moustapha och Salimanta Bamba, Fawzi Nawar, Katungulu Mwendwa, Maxhosa, Paths O, Versailles, Klûk CGDT, Mai Atafo, Chu Suwanapha, Palse Homme, Halisi, Barros, Kente Queen.

The project’s photographs were taken in the following countries:
South Africa, Senegal, Botswana, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe
Curator: Mia Klintewall, Galleri Kontrast

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