In 2011, Malagasy photographer Emmanuelle Andrianjafy arrived in the port city of Dakar, situated on the westernmost African coast, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Nothing’s in Vain is Andrianjafy’s response to the experience of uprooting to the Senegalese capital. Struggling to settle in, Andrianjafy picked up a camera for the first time. She began walking the city as a way to make sense of her experiences, confronting Dakar’s unfamiliar urban environment by framing it through the camera lens. Andrianjafy’s joint explorations of urban territory and emotional states of mind are intuitive, immersive and introspective. Nothing’s in Vain explores the dialogue between the specific urban context and her own internal search for belonging and connection.

About Artist

Emmanuelle Andrianjafy (b. 1983, Madagascar) lives and works in Dakar, Senegal. She graduated and worked as an electrical engineer in France before deciding to pursue photography in 2013. She attended international photography workshop Atelier Smedsby.

Andrianjafy’s project Nothing’s in Vain was the winner of the MACK First Book Award and Contemporary African Photography Prize in 2017, and was a finalist in the Aperture Portfolio Prize in the same year. Her work will be shown at PHOTO 2021 in Melbourne, Australia and has been exhibited at Bamako Encounters (2019), the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco (2019), Lagos Photo Festival (2018), at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham, UK (2018), Photo London (2017), the Athens Photo Festival (2017), Addis Foto Fest (2016), and the Aperture Summer Open (2015).

Nothing’s in Vain has been featured, among others, in the British Journal of Photography, Radio France Internationale, CNN, American Suburb X, Contemporary And (C&), and Zum Magazine. Andrianjafy has taken part in the events program of the Valongo Festival in Brazil in 2018, Unseen Amsterdam and Paris Photo in 2017.

Andrianjafy is currently working on a new body of work in which she returns to her native Madagascar.


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