There is one thing Leonora never gave up to grow: Her appetite for stories. Quickly though, hearing them wasn’t enough, and her envy shifted towards witnessing, understanding, and telling them.
Her first story almost knocked to her door, in Bruxelles, after she graduated from a Bachelor in photography and visual arts studies. She started to photograph a street juggler, Hicham, and ended up spending more than a year documenting the precarious equilibrium of his life. One day in the joyful mess of the embassy his community occupied, one night in an Emergency Department after he got beaten up.
This balance between good times and bad times is a thread that was to be found again in Leonora’s following projects in Marocco, India, Poland, or Turkey where she has –among others- documented the Gezi Park protests in 2013.
In 2014, she completes her cursus with a Bachelor in “documentary photography and transmedia writing”, and achieves an internship at a congolese newspaper in Kinshasa, DRC. In the meantime, she starts documenting stories on her own, and completes several assignments for NGO’s and international medias in the capital and in Goma.
She is currently working on the women condition in the DRC, with a focus on girls-mothers and maternity.
Commissioned works: WFP, UNHAS, MSF, BBC, Radio France, UNHCR, le JDD, Duży Format (Gazeta Wyborcza), Le Potentiel, Newcomer (The Bulletin), Cafebabel, EMAJ Magazine...
Awards and festivals : Multimedia award, MAP festival (2012), “Coup de coeur du JDD”, Paris Match grand Prize (2014), “Coup de coeur”, MAP festival (2014), Screening in the framwork of « le Mois de la Photo », Paris 2014.
- Audio capture
- Audio editing
- Breaking news
- Military embed
- RISC training
- Video capture
Hicham life at a crossroads
In less than a year, Hicham occupies a squat in a former embassy, gets beaten up in a drug-related incident, and leaves the squat to try to set up in another abandoned embassy. He is expelled after one week and goes to live in a teepee beside a railway line in one of Brussels' richest neighbourhoods.
My project is an intimate account of a man in search for answers in his daily struggle at the intersection of art, violence and solidarity.
Mother befor being woman
In North-Kivu, a province of the Democratic Republic of Congo severely affected by more than 20 years of armed conflicts, almost 25% of the girls aged 15-19 have already given birth (2013/2014 study for Health and Demographics). Early pregnancy, whether due to war rapes, pre-marital or forced relationships, often results in a rejection of the teenage mother by her family and community. Motherhood, an important rite of passage for the Congolese women, is considered shameful if it happens out of an official union.