MUCYO GASANA, A RWANDAN PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN ITALY
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Mucyo. H. B. Gasana (b. 1996) is an African artist and photographer born in South Africa, made in Rwanda, from Nairobi, Kenya. He currently lives, works and studies in Florence, Italy.
At twenty years old, Mucyo Gasana shows as much passion for community engagement as he does for his craft.
Gasana’s photography explores the beauty and truth of daily life and everyday people. By choosing the precise moment between the subject and the moment he hopes to share his vision by transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary and the real into the surreal.
He primarily shoots on 35mm and medium format film which he develops and scans himself.
I had the opportunity to chat with Mucyo about his most recent personal project On GIAWOC: God Is A Woman Of Colour, which is ongoing being exhibited at the student hotel in Italy, Florence. In association with Black History Month Florence
God Is A Woman Of Colour
GIAWOC is an ongoing collection of photographs that affirms the beauty, both hidden and undeniable, in all women of colour. A further purpose of GIAWOC is to highlight the realness and stories of the subjects involved, offering a perspective of the woman of colour.
It serves as a tribute; not only to my strong mother who raised me but my sister who has been by my side as a shining example of grace and excellence. Their unwavering support has molded me and allowed me to grow into the man I am today.
To all the women in my life who have been heavily responsible for shaping my consciousness over the years. Thank you.
I hope you see the truest beauty in these incredible women
“Our backs tell stories no books have the spine to carry” -Rupi Kaur
The image is notable for the tactile permanence of flesh revealed through the unique in-camera style he has developed over a year of experimentation. The technique is of great relevance and bears witness to the labor-intensive process reminiscent of a Daguerreotype in the pixel age. The result is a series that balances poise and precision celebrated through the singular beauty of the human form.
We have reached out to him to hear about his life, past and current works and his well-respected career in the field of photography in general.
Please tell our readers about yourself?
I’m 22, lived in three continents, I just finished a degree in industrial and interior/product design and I’m currently based out of Florence, Italy.
At what age did you realize that photography was the art with which you identified yourself?
Probably at the age of 18
How did you go from being an aspiring photographer to doing it professionally or is it just a hobby?
It’s definitely professional and like all things, it really just happened from consistent learning and working and practicing.
You have a very diverse portfolio of work. What do you wish to express with your photographs, and how do you achieve this process?
My work is mainly intimate portraits and my goal regardless of the subject in front of my lens is to best represent the true nature and personality of the human being in front of me. I think I’ve managed to achieve the process by slowing everything down which is why I only shoot film.
What is most important to you in your work, and what motivates you to continue taking photographs intellectually or emotionally?
The most important thing for me is the people I have to connect with in order to make the most accurate and appropriate portrait of them. And what motivates me is the need to photograph the things I Love.
What are you working on at the moment?
Working on a few dollars with artists I look up to (TBA) and also a big project in Rwanda regarding a big part of our heritage. Also (TBA)
What do you do to keep yourself inspired?
I gain my inspiration from the company I keep and my general environment. Also, try to challenge myself by switching up my process once in a while.
Describe your photographic style and has it changed over the years?
My style is mainly intimate portraits and a little street photography. It has definitely changed a lot because the first photography job I ever got was photographing interior spaces on digital. Feels like a lifetime ago.
How do you plan and set up for a shoot?
I start with planning out the entire set and lighting I want then select a film stock that will give me the desired result. Then I sit down to get to know my subject in order to break the ice a little just so they feel more comfortable with me especially.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
A new edition to my ongoing project GIAWOC: God Is a Woman of Color.
Any last words
A word to my fellow photographer’s trying to figure things out. Shoot what you know, shoot what you love and make sure your process (whether film, digital, etc.) is making you better personally as a photographer as opposed to trying to suit something that’s not really you.
Keep up with him here
For more pictures, visit his website MucyoGasana
His gram: @dailyinteractions.