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Ricciardi & World AIDS Day

This World AIDS Day we celebrate Mirella Ricciardi, photographer extraordinaire whose picture studies of Africa have brought her world wide acclaim.

“I have very deeply rooted feelings for Africa’s extraordinary resources of beauty. Before it disappears completely I want to preserve part of it, if only on paper.”  These are the words of Mirella Ricciardi, photographer extraordinaire, whose picture studies of Africa have brought her world wide acclaim.

This Tuesday, December 1st, in honour of World Aids Day, we are lending our support to Contemporary Africa. This is a collection of fine art, photography and sculpture that will be going on auction at Ely House in London. All of the proceeds from this auction will be going to Body & Soul, a charity promoting the respect, dignity and well being of children, adults and families living with and affected by HIV within the U.K.

Amongst the works that are to be auctioned off are some of the pieces from Vanishing Africa, a series of photographs  originally published in 1971 by Mirella Riccardi. This book has been praised by local African papers as ”probably the most remarkable book to come out of this remarkable continent since the camera first sought to capture its magic.”

A close friend of Peter Beard, Riccardi spent forty years travelling across Kenya, the country in which she was born, in order to photograph people living there, collecting snapshots of daily life as she went. In 1967, she was commissioned by the publishers William Collins to produce a photographic book on the vanishing life styles of the Nilotic tribes of East Africa. She returned to Kenya and set off on a two-year odyssey of self-discovery that changed the direction of her life.

The series was put together in collaboration with her daughter, Amina Riccardi, founder of the Mirella Riccardi Photographic Archive. Amina says, “The passion behind my interest in preserving these images is the desire to share this potent visual experience with the world and to offer a new generation an opportunity to learn about these disappearing cultures and traditions. Mirella’s archive celebrates her life and her work, ensuring that her artistic legacy continues to inspire.”

This auction presents a unique opportunity to purchase pieces of contemporary African art and at the same time to raise awareness for this worthy cause on World Aids Day. We are delighted to have partnered with Kenyan-raised fashion and lifestyle blogger, The London Chatter, to share this story.