Yala Ussi’n

Winning bodies of work


Ussi’n Yala is a Gabonese photographer currently based in Paris, France. Self-taught, his interests as a child in art forms such as music and drawing eventually led him to discover a passion for photography later in life. He developed a particular fascination with fashion and portrait photography, which allowed him to document and celebrate cultural, gender and sexual diversities in Africa and its diaspora.

Against a backdrop of growing homophobia and transphobia in some African communities, Yala believes it important to focus on this subject that continues to be considered a taboo and a transgression against a heteronormative and patriarchal societal. In doing so, he hopes to build a visual archive of queer Africa, documenting the lives of those who do not conform to gender and sex norms in order to challenge the notion that “queer” is an idea that has been imported into the country.