Born 1974, Côte d’Ivoire. Lives and works in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Joana Choumali studied graphic arts in Casablanca, Morocco, and worked as an art director in an advertising agency before embarking on her photography career.
Her work concentrates on conceptual portraits, mixed media and documentary photography with a particular focus on Africa. In her latest work, Choumali embroiders directly onto her images, completing the act of creating the photograph image with a slow and meditative gesture. Choumali has exhibited her work at the Museum of Civilisations, Abidjan; Vitra Design Museum, Basel; Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, Marrakech; Tropenmuseum,
Amsterdam; Bamako Encounters Photography Biennial;
Photoquai Biennial, Paris; Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town among others.
In 2014, Choumali won the CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography and the 2014 LensCulture Emerging Talents Award. In 2016, she received the Magnum Foundation Emergency Grant and the Fourthwall Books Photobook Award in South Africa. In 2017, she exhibited her series Translation and Adorn at the Pavilion of Côte d’Ivoire during the Venice Biennale. Her work has been published in the international press including CNN; The New York Times; Le Monde; The Guardian; The Huffington Post; La Stampa among others.
Her book Hââbré was published in Johannesburg in 2016.