When in 1960 Madagascar proclaimed their independence, Emile Rakotondrazaka, also known as Ramily, was there. For the next three decades he was the most influential Malagasy photographer. Through this first retrospective of his extensive photographic archive, we have a chance to admire his work and live the history of Madagascar from the 60s to the 90s.
Poetic landscapes, artistically worked prints, black and white wedding shots, and solemn events; Ramily is referred to as The Father of Black and White photography in Madagascar. Born in 1939 in Antananarivo, he passed away in 2017, leaving a photographic legacy that would inspire future generations of Malagasy creatives.
The exhibition RAMILY ILAY NANAO NY MARAINA (Ramily: The one who will reveal the day) overviews his authority as a professor, photographer, traveler, and social commentator, showcasing his original works printed on barium paper, which was his specialization: laboratory printing with astonishing landscapes on black and white film photos.
“Ramily, the one who revealed the day,
Between his black and at the rhythm of his white,
He reveals to us our history through his images,
But above all our emotions, may they sometimes be uncertain”
– Joël Andrianomearisoa
"During his life, Ramily worked as an assistant to a traveling photographer Rasolonjatovo, making identity photos for rural communities across Madagascar. In 1957, he was hired as a lab assistant for PHOTOFLEX studio on Independence Avenue in Analakely, a neighborhood in Antananarivo, the country’s capital.
In 1965 he left to further develop his practice, working with a topographical design office called B.E.T.T. (Bureau d’Etude de Travaux Topographiques) in Nanisana, Antananarivo."
"He subsequently established TECHNI-PHOTO, his own photo lab and studio in Itaosy, just south of the capital. As part of the exhibition, HAKANTO will present an immersive recreation of this studio, memorializing a space that became an essential school for black and white photography enthusiasts in the country.
The studio has inspired numerous photographers, including the celebrated Pierrot Men (b.1954), and remains functional today."
Curated by Joël Andrianomearisoa the artistic director of HAKANTO CONTEMPORARY; an independent, non-profit, artist-led space based in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
Taking its name from the Malagasy word for “aesthetic,” HAKANTO celebrates and supports artistic creativity in Madagascar through exhibitions, studio spaces, and residency programmes. Dedicated to showcasing the richness of contemporary Malagasy art.
Open until July 30, 2022 : HAKANTO CONTEMPORARY , Galerie Alhambra Ankadimbahoaka, 101, Madagascar.
If you are in Antananarivo make sure to stop by HAKANTO CONTEMPORARY and visit the Ramily show.