IN TOUCH Photographic Series: Guiyani and Papama

‘IN TOUCH’ is an intimate photographic essay around our growing need for human affection & connection. For being in touch with our people, including ourselves. It portrays human contact as the new luxury good of the era. South Africans with different backgrounds and relationships were invited to the studio and expressed the essence of the connection with their dearest and nearest. 

Marvin: Who is Guiyani and Papama? What makes their relationship so special? And how would you describe your relationship

Guiyani: We are friends and kindred souls in our view of life, love, but also in sense of humour, which sparks it all up. We connected on our first one-on-one encounter, a work meeting, that turned into hours of laughing, crying and sharing and that day truly sealed our bond for life. Our relationship is open and honest. 

Marvin: Are you an affectionate person? How important is affection for you?

Guiyani: Yes, I am an affectionate person, which is in complete synchronicity with my love language, physical touch. 

Marvin: How has the concept of ‘love & friendship’ evolved over the years in your world? How has it influenced you as a person and your decision making in life? 

Guiyani: Love & friendship have meant different things throughout my life, and it continues to evolve. I deeply treasure the people close to me but what I’ve learnt to understand without judgement is the importance of allowing the space for beginnings and growth but also for endings in love and friendships, both healthy and necessary processes.  

Marvin: What is your relationship with Africa? What does being an African woman mean to you?

Guiyani: Africa is in me and I am Africa. Being an African woman is a fact about my identity and it’s ever present in the way I feel things, the way I talk and the way I move about in the world. I believe it has also moulded my activist nature and passion in how I approach life and challenges in general, and coincidentally my professional career is in tune with my love and appreciation of the continent. 

Marvin:  How would you describe the relationship between Guiyani & Papama?

Papama: Our relationship is easy-flowing. Nothing beats that as you get older. We have a loving yet low-maintenance relationship that is governed by mutual respect. We don’t have to see each other daily but we know we love each other immensely.

Marvin: Are you an affectionate person? How important is affection for you?

Papama: Absolutely.. we both are.. 

Marvin: How has the concept of ‘love & friendship’ evolved over the years in your world? How has it influenced you as a person and your decision making in life?

Papama: Love & friendship are one of the pillars of this life thing. When you make loving others the story of your life, there’s never a final chapter, because the legacy continues. You lend your light and your being to one person, and s/he then shines it on another and another and another. And I know for sure that in the final analysis of our lives – when the to-do lists are no more, the frenzy is finished, when our email inboxes are empty – the only thing that will have any lasting value is whether we’ve loved others and whether they’ve loved us.

Marvin: What is your relationship with Africa? What does being an African woman mean to you? 

Papama: Africa is Hope – there’s no better time to be African than right NOW for me. I just want my fellow African brothers and sisters to get up and start taking ownership of our FUTURE. We have all the wisdom, skills, heritage, power, resources and innate know-how to make our continent a first world habitat. We’ve ALWAYS had!

Team credits

Concept, Photography & Retouching: Mariska van den Brink (MRSK Visuals/ @mrskvisuals)

Art Direction & Styling: Vallery Groenewald (Savage Design)

MUA, Hair & SFX: Lyn Kennedy 

Fashion: Ara Emporium, Zara and H&M

Story: Guiyani and Papama

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