Nataal, conversation with Helen Jennings
| By Prisca M. Monnier
Helen Jennings portrait by Lakin Ogunbanwo
But NATAAL is not a story about famous bloggers or fashionistas making a buzz. NATAAL is first and foremost the fabulous story of an ordinary encounter between three people. An English woman in love with fashion and art; a Senegalese ex-model, actor and filmmaker and a Swedish woman with a bright fashion and creative background.
– “There’re three of us in the team. Sy is the founder, I am the editorial director and there’s Sara, the creative director. He was a model when we met, I used to be the editor of arise magazine. He is the one who brought us together.”-
portrait de Sy Alassane
– “The name NATAAL came from Sy. It means “abundance” in the fulani language. Plus it’s lovely word and it sounds nice weither you understand it or not. And also it means different things in different languages and cultures. Like a South African would think that you are thinking about the Nataal region in South Africa, and in Brazil there’s a city called Nataal, other would think “birth” and “renewal” –
Sara Hemming (left) et Helen Jennings (right) with a few artists (middle) At the Nataal fist exhibition in New York
This Hair Of Mine, a series by Cyndia Harvey presented by Nataal Media at The AKAA fair, Paris
Khoisan_03 Chunara by Namsa Leuba
– “We have a global African approach, that’s how I would describe the media. Not delineating too strongly but also everything to everyone. Everyone is African really but we have a niche…” –
ZuluKids 02 Passports by by Namsa Leuba
As Nataal’s special project at AKAA by photographer Andrew Dosumnu
A beautiful collection of photographs, of films and portraits of artists met throughout their journey. Innovative and authentic people with that same mojo, that same drive, that same « resurgence » of cultural affirmation. With names like Andrew Dosunmu, Chris Saunders, Cyndia Harvey, Namsa Leuba… Names resonating like an echo that we recognize like the trace of an awakening dream.
| *KWAZULU NATAL |
A province of South Africa that was created in 1994 when the Zulu bantustan of KwaZulu (“Place of the Zulu” in Zulu) and Natal Province were merged. It is located in the southeast of the country.