Belgian-Beninese photojournalist Fabrice Monteiro (pictured below) and Senegalese stylist Doulsy teamed up to create “The Prophesy,” a photo series that brings environmental issues to the fore, reports CNN.
Monteiro says, “Gaia, the Mother earth, [is] exhausted by her incapacity to maintain the natural cycles of the planet in front of new modes of life and consumption. She resolves to send her djinns [children], to let them appear to the humans and deliver a message of warning and empowerment.”
Working with Doulsy from concept through to execution, Monteiro says they took care to incorporate relevant materials in to the costumes to reflect the underlying themes.
“The collaboration with Doulsy was remarkable on this project. I would come up with the concept and we would associate our respective vision to create the costumes. Tar, sand, fishing nets, fish scales, tree bark, every costume material had to refer to the specific issue.
“Everything in the accomplishment of this series has been a challenge. From the creation of the costumes to gaining access to certain sites.
“Each image also had to be done at a certain time of the year — from flood season to slash and burn season to charcoal season.”
Monteiro has already made a name for himself with his Marrons series, which sheds light on slavery in Ouidah, Benin, as well as the photographs he recently took of the dreadlocked Muslim community of Baye Fall. One of his most-beautiful works to date, though, is the 2013 photo series he did on Senegalese enjoying summertime in “A Gorean Summer.”
For this project, Monteiro wanted to approach the ever-important topic of the environment with a fresh approach.
“When it comes to speaking about environmental issues, either you get alarming numbers and statistics or pictures of devastated landscape. But with projects like ‘The Prophecy,’ you can speak to the hearts of people by mixing facts and art. Giving this issue a mystical element helps with awareness, and pushes people to change — and change now,” he said.
Monteiro enjoys melding the worlds of fashion photography, photo journalism, and portraiture in his work. Born to a Beninese Father and a Belgian Mother, he is currently based in Dakar.
See the rest of his “Prophecy” offering here.