Josèfa Ntjam’s works are made of scientific and biological elements, archival photographs and 3D scans of objects. They are defined by the undefinable. She weaves multiple narratives from African mythology, ancestral rituals, historical events (the wars of independence in Cameroon, Algeria and Burkina-Faso), anti-racist activism in the US and family archives to propose alternative technological futures and imagine new potential worlds while focusing on Black struggles.
The artist often looks at nonlinear storylines with multiple readings, such as Mami Wata, a voodoo figure and fish-woman divinity venerated in much of Africa, where she can be alternatively represented as a monster, a mermaid, a dangerous woman or a saviour. Ntjam’s work follows the goddess’s capacity to remain ungraspable, constantly changing her appearance and gender to avoid being assigned a single position or origin. The photomontages evoke an opulent universe in which documentations of riots and portraits of political protesters merge with an array of abstract cellular shapes, mythological animals, equatorial plants or computer-generated jellyfish.
Josèfa Ntjam (b. 1992 in Metz, France) lives and works in Saint-Étienne, France.