The curators of Voices sector

For its return to the Grand Palais, Paris Photo is opening a new sector and giving four renowned curators the opportunity to select artists from the international scene.        They are invited to design a proposal around contemporary themes in order to highlight an artistic scene or a medium practice in a shared space.                                  Discover the curators of this new sector.

Portrait of Azu Nwagbogu - Courtesy of Anastasia Ermolenko

Azu Nwagbogu - Founder and Director of LagosPhoto Festival, Independent Curator

“The selection for Voices - ‘Liberated Bodies’ - focuses on artists who reactivate the archive by transforming either existing archive or their own personal archive to tell stories, and if not a story, just an idea of a life lived. In a sense, their practice accepts the active as a living breathing being that is liberated by artistic intervention.”

Azu Nwagbogu is an independent curator, interested in evolving new models of engagement with questions of decolonization, restitution, and repatriation. In his practice, the exhibition becomes an experimental site for reflection, civic engagement, ecology and repatriation – both tangible and symbolic. Azu Nwagbogu is the Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), and serves as Founder and Director of LagosPhoto Festival.     He is the publisher of Art Base Africa. In 2021, Azu was awarded ’Curator of Year 2021’ by the Royal Photographic Society, UK, and also listed amongst the hundred most influential people in the art world by ArtReview. In 2021, Azu launched the project ’Dig Where You Stand (DWYS) - From Coast to Coast’ which offers a new model for institutional building and engagement, with questions of decolonization, restitution and repatriation, the exhibition took place in Ibrahim’s Mahama’s culture hub SCCA in Tamale, Ghana.

Portrait of Sonia Voss - Courtesy of Maurice Weiss

Sonia Voss - Independent Curator

“Whether they are familiar or transitory, empty or filled, a site of internal exile or comforting intimacy, bedrooms are often intensively appropriated by artists, particularly in contexts of political oppression where they serve as a last bastion of freedom. They call for introspection, immobile journey, and experimentation; morph into theaters or observatories; and, ultimately, can function as a metaphor for photography itself. The curated space ’4 Walls’ is dedicated to the bedroom as a place of projection, expression, and creation.”

Sonia Voss is an author and curator. Her exploration of East German photography has led her to curate ’Restless bodies: East German Photography 1980-1989’ (Rencontres d’Arles, 2019; National Gallery of Art, Vilnius 2022) and to take an interest in various photographic scenes that emerged behind the Iron Curtain, particularly in Lithuania during the 1970s and 1980s. She was a curator for the 2021 Louis Roederer Discovery Award at the Rencontres d’Arles. She also supports several artists in their artistic projects and exhibitions.

Portrait of Alona Pardo - Courtesy of Jenny Lewis

Alona Pardo - Independent Curator

“The body is a controversial subject for feminism. It has been the locus of activism around legal rights to autonomy, the site of patriarchal trauma and violence, as well as the repository for other ways of feeling, being and thinking. For artists then, the body – and by extension images of bodies – is an arena of contestation. In tandem, collage, or as the American artist Miriam Schapiro termed ‘femmage’ – a neologism that combines feminist action with collage – is a powerfully transgressive, subversive and decentring practice that encourages pluri-vocal perspectives alongside intertextual and intersectional representation. This curated section will focus on women’s bodily experience in an attempt to tell the story of women’s liberation through the practice collage while also proposing new perspectives and perceptions of bodily agency.”

Alona Pardo is currently Head of Programmes and Collection at Arts Council Collection, UK. Prior to that she was curator at Barbican Art Gallery in London for over decade where she curated exhibitions including ’RE/SISTERS: A Lens of Gender and Ecology’ (2023); ’Masculinities: Liberation through Photography’ (2020); ’Trevor Paglen: From Apple to Anomaly’ (2019); ’Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins’ (2018); ’Dorothea Lange: The Politics of Seeing’ (2018); ’Richard Mosse: Incoming’ (2017) amongst many others. With a particular interest in work that operates at the intersection of art, activism, and social, ecological and gender justice, she regularly writes and contributes to publications and has curated exhibitions such as ’Noèmie Goudal: Phoenix’ (Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, 2022) or the forthcoming exhibition ’The Infinite Woman’ at the Fondation Carmignac.

Portrait of Elena Navarro - Courtesy of Ricardo Trabulsi

Elena Navarro - Founder of FotoMexico, Independent Curator

“I will show how vibrant is the art scene in Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, from historical photography to contemporary artists that are pushing the boundaries of the medium.”

Specialized in contemporary photography, Elena Navarro is the founder and director of FOTOMEXICO.              Her career spans consultancy and artistic direction of significant projects and festivals.

In 2023, she presented ’The Serpent Trail’ by Maya Goded at the Amparo Museum (Puebla, Mexico), an artist she represents and is collaborating on future exhibition and editorial projects.

In recent decades, she has focused on showcasing the work of artists and creators from Mexico and Latin America in dialogue with Europe, the United States, and the rest of the world. To achieve this, she has collaborated with a wide variety of cultural institutions and public and private collections from different countries: Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Aperture Foundation, Mapfre Foundation, Institute Moreira Salles, Pedro Slim Collection, International Center of Photography (NY), Walther Collection & Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía among others.