Artists' portrait... Zoom on Dagmar Van Weeghel


As it often happens, my attention has been drawn to women's pictures. This time, these are portraits photographed by the Dutch artist Dagmar Van Weeghel. And, of course, I wanted to know more about her and her artistic approach.


Zoom on... Dagmar Van Weeghel



For Sarah, the African Princess

Dagmar Van Weeghel has been living in Zimbabwe and working for almost 14 years between Botswana, Tanzania, South Africa and Uganda, where she directed film projects with local communities. Since 2015 she has devoted herself to photography with the desire to tell stories of women and men through her art.


Her personal story is also a source of inspiration. Being married to a Zimbabwean and having mixed-race children, the topics of dual culture and immigration have a particular resonance to her.


The recurring themes of her work are History, heritage, diaspora and identity related issues.

Women are often at the heart of her work even though she also photographs men. Most of her models are anonymous people who have agreed to take the pose.


I first discovered the series "For Sara - The African Princess". It was a double discovery as I didn’t know the incredible story of Sara Forbes Bonnet, who became the goddaughter of Queen Victoria of Great Britain!


The story of Sara, African princess


Born in 1843, Sarah Forbes Bonetta, was a princess of the Egbado clan and known to have been the goddaughter of Queen Victoria of Great Britain.

She became an orphan in 1848, at the age of five, when her parents were killed. She was then abducted by slavers and surrendered to King Ghezo of Dahomey. She remained captive at the court of the king of the Dahomee where she was in charge of watering the graves.


In 1849, at the request of Lieutenant Frederick Edwyn Forbes, a British naval officer, King Ghezo agreed to offer Sarah as a gift to the Queen of England. The latter has been impressed by her good manners and her exceptional intelligence. Sarah lived in the British middle class and was educated as the goddaughter of Queen Victoria.





I like the sulky pout and the strong yet distant look of the model. The contrast of satin black and gold gives intensity to the photo.

Kajote Barbara, model of Ugandan origin who posed for this series, had a similar destiny. Orphan, she has gone through a lots of struggles before becoming Miss Uganda's 1st runner up in 2011.


To see more photos, visit Kelen's instagram.



Artistically yours,

Daffa


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