Fabrice Monteiro travelled to the most polluted places in Africa and created terrifying characters who roamed their midst dressed in eerie debris. They are spirits, he says, on a mission to make humans change their ways.
Informed by Africa’s environmental problems, Fabrice Monteiro’s photographs aim to highlight urgent ecological issues all over the world in his series The Prophecy. Monteiro says, “The Prophecy is a tale of hope and empowerment. Earth has sent her spirits to tell humans that they have the power to reverse what they have done to the planet. When I started the project, I found out what Senegal’s biggest environmental challenges were and chose nine topics that seemed the most visual.”
The surreal figures wear costumes made in collaboration with Dakar-based designer Doulcy, from items found at each location. The characters are based on a children’s story by Monteiro, combining animism and traditional religion with superheroes.
“As humans we used to know the importance of respecting and preserving nature. But our endless consumerism has got us lost,” says Monteiro. “Who is fighting for clean water in the US? Native Americans. Who is fighting for land preservation in Australia? Aboriginals. The rainforest in Brazil? Indigenous peoples.”
Monteiro considers himself ‘transcultural’. “I am as much African as I am European,” says Monteiro, who is half Beninese, half Belgian.