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ANA Spotlight: Mouna Karray, Photographer

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Mouna Karray was born in Sfax, Tunisia in 1970. A photographer and video artist, she is primarily known for her photography and film. Her art explores socio-political themes in relation to identity. She studied cinema and photography at the Institut Supérieur d’Animation Culturelle in Tunis, Tunisia. She then earned her Masters in photography at the Tokyo Polytechnic University in Japan in 2001. Karray’s work mostly covers themes of gender which includes her experiences as a woman, an Arab, and a Tunisian. Additionally, it emphasises political discourse concerning the Arab Spring and the Tunisian Revolution. She utilises photography to directly highlight poverty by capturing abandoned settings in contrast to the locals who still reside there. She lives and works between Sfax and Paris, France.

Image courtesy of African Photography Network

In her collection titled Nobody will talk about us Karray photographs the southern region of Tunisia which has been forgotten and cut off from the rest of the country. This served as an attempt to raise awareness of this forgotten region. This series not only captures desolate landscapes, but also the people who live in them, bringing awareness to the fact that they still exist.

Image courtesy of

The series, which features a figure covered in a white sheet, was shot in various southern Tunisian locations.  Photographed against rural, desolate backdrops depleted of their mineral resources, this body of work represents a series of narratives which explore the artist’s encounters with both the people and landscape of a region that serves as home for the more neglected of the country’s population. Concurrently, the anonymous subject in the white sheet softens the harsh reality, subliminally bringing attention to the forgotten people.

Image courtesy of

Karray used this figure in her images of the stunning and expansive southern region and unsettled both the landscape and the viewer in the process. Above all the figure embodies the isolation, confinement, and limitations of the people of the region in their trying circumstances. She hopes to offer the figure and its struggles, encounters, and displacements a broader universal meaning. 

In 2017, she exhibited at the 2nd Biennale of Photographers of the Contemporary Arab World in Paris. Kurray’s work was featured in the 12th Dak’Art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal. She was also featured in The Sea is my Land and Africa Big Change Big Chance, Triennale di Milano in Italy. Her work is included in the collections of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa, the Sindika Dokolo Foundation, Luanda, Angola, and the Ministry of Tunisian Culture.


Lelethu Sobekwa was born in Gqeberha, South Africa. She holds a BA Honours in English and has recently finished her MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes University. Lelethu currently writes for Art News Africa.

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