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The end of the world by Maroussia Mbaye

Maroussia Mbaye is a Senegalese self-taught photographer whose work focuses on presenting the raw reality of African cultures. Her photographs are shown in both monochrome and colour variations, perhaps in an attempt to present her photographs in different lights, bringing forth other interpretations.
It was her distaste for the rigidity of a career in finance that made Mbaye pursue freelance photography – certainly, there is an overwhelming sense of adventure to her work. She does not hesitate to photograph all spheres of humanity, ranging from urban cityscapes, migrants, and the rising concern for the impact of global warming. Mbaye’s work is multifaceted; not just in her choice of subject, but also in the way she chooses to edit and present images to the viewer.

The end of the world, or ‘La Fin du Monde’ in her Senegal Series is an example of Mbaye using photography as a gateway to telling stories of the African culture. The image features a gigantic pile of empty plastic canisters and containers, a man in the centre of the frame walks leisurely by, as though he were taking an afternoon stroll in the park. By naming this photograph the end of the world, there is no question as to what Mbaye is trying to comment on. Undoubtedly, the end of the world will be at the fault of humanity, with the consequences of unsuccessful waste management and sustainable material usage being only a fraction of what has contributed to global warming. Mbaye states in a single image that we must act now, for the end of the world as a far-fetched fantasy is in the not-so-distant future.

Words by Chloe Copley