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Tribute to Ramiri, the father of black and white photography in Madagascar

Sublime serene mountains, lush rainforest plants, poignant hillsides, windswept palms, faces full of old stories, all perfectly captured by Ramili’s black and white photos – “Father of Contemporary Black and White Photography” in Madagascar.

In Ramiri’s photo of Madagascar – the big red island famous for its earth’s hue You The vastness of the sea can be felt, the sway of the tall grass, in which a lonely couple walks, Lac Anosy, a lake in the center of the capital Antananarivo.

Ramiri photo via Hakanto Contemporary Museum

Sunset in Sovenandriana, Madagascar

1939 Born Emile Rakotondrazaka

but affectionately known as Ramily or Dadamilly, Ramili painted portraits of the landscape and the people of his country. In these photographs, he captures the essence of Madagascar in its colonial and independence era in time and memory, using light and shadow to tell stories and convey emotion and movement.

Ramily’s photo revealed The transformation of Madagascar, his work began when the country was still under French colonial rule and ended long after the country became a republic. Ramily, who died in 2017
From the 1970s to the 1990s.


Portrait of Fenerive fishermen in Madagascar

recently held a three-month exhibition at the Hakanto Contemporary Gallery in Tanjombato, Antananarivo to celebrate this A legacy. His photos, diaries and tools.

Ramily Early Contact Photography

Ramili started his photography journey at an early age, when he traveled the countryside with his eldest son from his adoptive family, taking identification (ID) photos of people. Rakotozafy’s son and the eldest of 10 children from humble families, Ramili was raised by a priest named Rasolonjatovo from the age of 10.

On these trips, the pair used the night sky as a darkroom and car batteries as a power source for developing photographs. At the age of 17, Ramili began working as an assistant photo lab technician at PHOTO FLEX, a photography studio in Analakely’s bustling market. While working for the French photographer Mesli d’Arloze, he acquired the technical and technical skills of mixing chemicals to develop photographs. By 1968 he had opened his own laboratory near Ankadifotsy in Antananarivo. Two years later, he opened his own studio in Itaosy, making him the first Malagasy photographer to have his own studio and laboratory.


Ramily Self-Portrait

Influencing young generation of photographers in Madagascar

to share his knowledge and expertise knowledge and passing on this passion for photography to the younger generation is very important to Ramiri. Seminars and conferences where he shares his craft are common. During his most prolific decades, Ramelie photographed with local cultural centers, national business initiatives, government programs and arts festivals. Traveling all over the country to take pictures, these are his famous works.

Madagascar photographers after him including Stephen Jacob , Dany Be, Pierrot Men, Daddy Marotiana, Philippe Gaubert, Sylvain Ralaivaohita – all inspired by him.


Coconut Trees in Full Point, Madagascar


Solar Eclipse in Antananarivo, Madagascar


Musician performing

So influential Ramily has been photographing in Madagascar, the history of photography in Madagascar has “Before Ramily” and “After Ramily”.

The subjects of Ramili’s photographs are intimate portraits of his family, himself; portraits of people he encounters as he travels across the country; and the vast landscapes of Madagascar.

Both artist and technician, he saw and captured sights that moved him with his beloved Rollei camera, then expertly measured and mixed chemicals to develop the photos, perfecting his recipes and keep meticulous notes in his notebook. He is committed to this traditional style of handmade photography, but he also keeps up with the modernization of photography tools, including digital, but he never abandons the basic basic tools. He insists on producing superior quality by mixing and developing his own chemical formulas rather than using pre-made ones.

Ramily is known as a poet photographer, with musicians, visual artists, and a national theatre troupe who toured the country and filmed it all. He is an artist’s friend and an artist himself.

Time Movies in Madagascar

Ramili’s demeanor, demeanor and countenance reflect the very essence of the spirit of Antananarivo. He tried to photograph and film the land he loved, the land that claimed him. His pictures convey the stillness and movement, beauty and history of Madagascar. Fascinatingly, many of the places he photographed still feel and look the same today as he did in his 1970s photos, while others have changed dramatically.

The father of contemporary black and white photography has brought great wealth to Madagascar and the rest of the world in these works of art: the time capsule of this unique country and its important decades of culture in its in history. A thousand words are conveyed in one photo.




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