Eco System of Healing #02. 2021
Size: 40.0 x 60.0 cm
Limited edition set. Edition of 5.
The image was awarded at the Photography Annual of the Creative Review and received an honorable mention (Jury Top 5 Picks) from the International Photography Awards.
The photo series Eco Systems of Healing deals with the importance of mental health in the Global South, focusing on West Africa. She photographed her models in a natural setting, selecting different locations in Ghana: the forest in Legon, the oceanfront in the coastal district Jamestown, and the railway lines in Dzorwulu. A frequent motif in the series is the mask, usually created from feathers and paint, to symbolize the disconnect between the body and the mind.
The common understanding of trauma and mental health has been shaped by the experience of the West, which often creates bubbles of misunderstanding towards different approaches. In African communities, family nature and spirituality mold the foundation of mental well-being. However, through their colonial past and exploitative present, people became alienated from these perspectives on mental health, which resulted in individuals withdrawing into themselves in the search for oneness. The series delves into a complex exploration of what it means to be mentally well in the context of a system that has been constructed from a Western point of view.
Samira Saidi is an Afro-European woman of color, whose multidisciplinary practice aims to inspect and shift sociological structures of race, perceptions of belonging, and explores the dual nature of intersectional identity.