Patrick Willocq is a self taught photographer who lived and worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo for over 7 years. Willocq’s describes his latest art project I Am Walé Respect Me, his motivation to experiment with art photography..
I’ve always been fascinated by Ekonda pygmies because I feel they have in them a wealth that we ourselves have lost. The Walé (primiparous nursing woman) ritual is a beautiful tribute to motherhood, fertility and femininity, which is why I asked five Walés, whom I know for over a year, to participate to this art project to help witness a part of their personal history: each image being a visual representation of a very personal song they will respectively sing the day of their respective seclusion ending festival. On that day each walé will sing the story of her own loneliness, and with humor praise her behavior while discrediting her Walé rivals –