Africanae Act I: The Villa in Carthage

PhotographerMarc Erwin Babej
PrizeHonorable Mention
CompanyMarc Erwin Babej Photography
City/CountryNew York, United States
Photo DateDecember 2013-January 2014
Technical InfoDigital b/w image
Entry Description

Atop a hill in Carthage, one of the finest areas of Tunis, stands a villa that belonged to the Trabelsi, the family of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s wife. Ben Ali’s nepotism had been a trigger for the uprising – and during the revolution, the villa was ransacked and covered in political graffiti. As four young Tunisian women explore this symbol of their country’s Zero Hour, they are not identifiable as belonging to a particular ethnic or religious group, but rather as members of a universal Mediterranean civilization.

About Photographer

Marc Erwin Babej is a fine art and documentary photographer who works exclusively in black-and-white. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1970, he received a B.A. in history from Brown University and an M.Sc. from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Marcs background in social sciences, marketing strategy, media and entertainment pervades his photographic work. Uneasy coexistences are a predominant theme: his images surface inner conflicts and, in so doing, expose seemingly contradictory beliefs. Conflict is a key means of representation a stance that embraces the viewer with one arm, while holding him at a distance with the other. Marcs image-making method calls for intensive collaboration with cast members. Members of his still-image film ensemble Mercury Theatre, feature in a variety of roles across the work. Marcs work is published regularly both in general media and in international art publications. He also writes a column about luminaries in art and documentary photography for Der Spiegel and American Photo.