Friday, 1 August 2008

Leonie Purchas: A Malian Family in Paris

Photograph © Leonie Purchas-All Rights Reserved

Today's feature is a change from the travel/documentary photography features I've posted this week. It's essentially a collection of social commentaries by the talented Leonie Purchas, a British photographer, who after taking an honors degree in the history of art, went on to work as a full-time assistant to the British photojournalist Tom Stoddard. She followed this with a diploma from the London College of Communications in 2003, gaining the first distinction to be awarded in five years.

Leonie is currently an artist in resident at Fabrica, Italy. Her work has been featured in a range of publications, including Portfolio magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine and Newsweek.

Out of her body of work, I chose the story of Tall Abdou, a Malian who had come to France in the 70's leaving his wife Tall Feinda in Africa. He legally married Tall Hamssatou after a few years living in Paris, who had already been married and had 8 children. A few years later his original wife Tall Feinda joined them in Paris and together they now have 15 children.

Be sure to read the introduction to the gallery, which examines the clash between French politics and African traditions.