Fabrice Monteiro is an Agouda, the descendant of Brazilian slaves with Portuguese names. His background is multicultural: he was born in Belgium, grew up in Benin, and now lives and works in Dakar, Senegal. Monteiro worked as a model for around a decade before becoming a photographer himself in 2007, after meeting the New York based photographer Alfonse Pagano. Photography came naturally to him, first as a professional model, he became aware of the complexity of the composition, the lighting and the posture. Passed behind the lens, Fabrice Monteiro’s images are at the intersection between photojournalism and fashion photography. “The diversity of my origins is my first source of inspiration. Relations between African and Europe have constantly fluctuated between attraction and rejection, empowerment and denial, recognition and anger. They have never been indifferent. The history of the African-European people over the last centuries, that I have inherited the complexity, is my main source of inspiration”
The photographic series The Prophecy was begun in 2013, when Monteiro returned to Africa after several years’ absence, and discovered the devastating pollution that had overtaken the continent. The series was based on nine different environmental problems in Senegal, including forest fires, plastic waste and oil spills, and was gradually expanded to address worldwide pollution. This theme is personified in the photos of various figures who were inspired by West African masquerades and animism. The beautiful and distressing figures were created in collaboration with the Senegalese fashion designer Doulsy, who devised couture-like costumes made of trash and natural materials.