ZAM Reporter

CAP PRIZE 2020 Shortlist | Alien (2019), Flávio Cardoso, Angola

Flávio Cardoso is one of the 25 projects/photographers shortlisted for the 2020 CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography.
His/her motivation:

I grew up on television, computers, video games and the internet while in an underdeveloped African country, feeling distanced from an African identity.

In its 45 years as a sovereign state, Angola has gone from colonization to 32 years of civil war and the rise and fall of an oil-tied economy.

Today, six years into the economic recession, its human development index remains poor. This comes in great contrast to a world where the expansion of technology and the rise of A.I. has scientists, sociologists, philosophers, and historians (e.g.: Jaron Lanier, Yuval Harari) questioning the future of the most vulnerable societies in the age of a global digital economy.

I created this work to reflect on the subject of alienation, under globalization and capitalism in modern civilization.

ALiEN is a fictional setting of a dystopic universe in which the construct of headspace with the intricate parts of man-made structures and machines are revealed to be broken.

The work is grounded in bleak aesthetics that borrow from real-life scenes followed by images of otherworldly artifacts, bringing into view the relationship between the two.

In these images are empty spaces, objects portrayed abandoned, out of place metal and concrete, and the electric power. There’s the portrayal of how discomfort and normalization of the absurd are all products of an artificial mechanism, a system that imposes itself by creating an impact on life around it.

To create this body of work, I first started by looking outwards: my surroundings, the architecture, and landscapes. From there I studied how these spaces and artifacts informed me of the social structures and aspirations while trying to understand the general driving forces of the world around me and my place in it. Finally, I looked inwards in an attempt to perceive the processes that are driving human development, from the hunter-gatherer days to the computerized Homo sapiens.

The 5 winning projects will be announced on 20 September 2020 at the Photo Basel International Art Fair.
The call for entries for next year's CAP Prize.
Instagram @capprize