“Tala ngai” is an expression in Lingala, the language commonly spoken in Kinshasa, that means “Look at me” or “visit me.”
This series contrasts themes of self-perception and the external gaze; it questions internal personal identity and outward physical appearance to juxtapose these two opposing forces, one intimate and the other public, judged by external forces.
Inspired by the classic portrait, I present young women of Kinshasa in two ways; before and after they are made up and primed to go out i.e. how they are at home and how they present themselves to the world. The final image in each triptych is of the interior of each of their homes, and consider how we classify people in relation to their place of origin.
Talangai creates a contemporary archive of social and cultural realities in my society, and communicates the attitude of young Kinoise women at this present moment.