Hand-me-down: African women in their grandmothers’ clothes – in pictures


Joana Choumali’s portraits show modern African women swapping jeans for kente cloth – and diving into the dazzling cultural heritage of their families.

Arabic Sudanese
Choumali found her subjects on the streets of Abidjan: women dressed in contemporary clothes like jeans and heels. They were instructed to wear something worn by their grandmother or another older female relative.

Apollo Akan
‘Danielle spent her childhood living in Spain, while her father worked at the Ivorian embassy in Madrid. Now she teaches Spanish in Abidjan. Danielle is wearing her grandmother’s outfit. The style and design is typically 1950s. During the shoot Danielle was very emotional as her mother had recently passed away, and she realised how similar they looked. The photo session was like therapy’.


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