Samuel Fosso is a Cameroonian photographer best known for his ongoing series of self-portraits taken with various guises and constructed identities. Fosso's work came to international prominence in the early 1990's for his bodies of performative work that started in the 1970s, and he is now regarded as a semina l artist in the discourse of African photography.
LagosPhoto 2013 also introduced the World Premiere of Samuel Fosso’s newest photographic series, The Emperor of Africa. The Emperor of Africa explores the relationship between Africa and China by recontextualising icons of Mao Zedong, with Fosso playing the part of the controversia Chinese leader. Speaking about his work, Fosso states: “As in all my works, I am both character and director. I don’t put myself in the photographs: my work is based on specific situations and people I am familiar with, things I desire, rework in my imagination and afterward, I interpret. I borrow an identity. In order top succeed I immerse myself in the necessary physical and mental state. It’s a way of freeing me from myself. A solitary path. I am a solitary man.”