Martina Bacigalupo

The United Kingdom, London Camilla Grimaldi

Martina Bacigalupo's (b. 1978) latest series, Gulu Real Art Studio, presents an edited selection of 6 x 4 inch prints that she found discarded at the Gulu Real Art Studio in the city of Gulu, northern Uganda. Bacigalupo's collection represents a typological cross-section of Gulu's society today⎯nurses, soldiers, farmers, teachers, businessmen, nuns, students, mothers, and children⎯defined through poses, clothing, and objects. Vivid and diverse, the images extend the tradition of African vernacular studio portraiture but at the same time the cut-outs create completely unconventional portraits. What remains heightens the viewer's attention to gesture and detail, and it is through these subtle details that other markers of identity slowly reveal themselves.

The photographic work is accompanied by a collection of audio interviews of the studio's customers conducted by Bacigalupo. The monograph Gulu Real Art Studio was released by Steidl Publishers in 2013.

Bacigalupo is currently based in Burundi, East Africa. Her work has been published in the The New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, Le Monde Magazine, Internazionale, Elle, Esquire, and Jeune Afrique. Bacigalupo is a member of Agence Vu in Paris. She has been awarded several prizes such as Canon Female Photojournalist Award for her report on the consequences of the war between the Ugandan army and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) over 25 years.