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Namsa Leuba: Looking At African Art With New Eyes


Keep your eyes wide open to the outstanding art works of Namsa Leuba and we promise you won’t regret it! What is the work exactly? Photography – and she excels at it. Brainy and beautiful, Namsa’s unique images are depicting African identity through Western eyes in the most subtle and intuitive manner. 

Namsa Leuba

With a Masters degree in Art Direction and a Post Graduate Diploma from the University of Visual Arts in New York, the half Guinean, half Swiss photographer is one of the most promising visual artists of the moment.
Culture – in all its forms – is at the root of Namsa's state-of-the-art photography. Her international breakthrough came in 2011 with Ya Kala Ben, a series of pictures that were taken in her mother’s hometown in Guinea. Her visual studies of the symbolic rituals and heritage of her mother's community resulted in some of today's most intriguing and exceptional photographs. 

Translated as Cross-Looked, Ya Kala Ben embodies a dreamy blend between documentary and composed style photography. The models, referred to as statuettes, wake up one’s curiosity for the unknown by questioning our perception of traditional cultures. This alongside bright colors, unique locations and rich costumes engage the viewer both emotionally and aesthetically. 

In fact, Namsa’s iconoclast imagery holds an exceptional flair along with a good dose of playful provocation. Her art work therefore earned her many praises and awards, including an excellent distinction from the University of Art and Design in Lausanne, a BCV award and the 2012 Photo Global Prize at the prestigious Hyères Fashion and Photography Festival. 

But Namsa is not the type to rest on her laurels: daring to be different, she simultaneously enriches, communicates, questions and shares a mixture of cultures in just one simple shot. A game changer in the field of photography, we are definitely keeping our eyes peeled to see what this young talent does next!