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Umumalayika


Mother and daughter, two Burundian women face disability together.

In Bujumbura, capital of Burundi, everyday is a struggle for Francine. After her husband died, her brother-in-law punished her by the most dreadful and indelible way, cutting her two forearms. Now deeply disabled, she needs assistance for each of everyday life’s tasks ; necessary activities such as feeding and washing herself became difficult. This tragic event also meant the loss of her autonomy.

This Burundian woman lives away from her young daughter Bella, who studies in the South of the country, far from the capital. They sometimes meet during holidays and take care of each other. With a generous look, full of tenderness towards Francine and Bella, Martina Bacigalupo was able to follow, from 2008 to 2010, this unique relation, and catch the complementarity they offered her.

As if roles were exchanged, Bella assists Francine at home and help her to overcome her disability by supporting her in her medical treatments. Paying the same attention to obstacles and success, Martina Bacigalupo’s story is like a testimony of the strong bond the photographer built with Francine and Bella, showing restraint and kindness.


The exhibition consists on 25 prints, underneath passe-partout, in 40 x 50 cm format.

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