Jean-Claude Abalo

They call him the "Eye of the Lynx"

Behind that smile lies a prolific and talented enthusiast who sets the standard in the photography of his country, Togo.

In 2012, at the heart of the preparations for the Literary Festival Plumes Francophones, a question begun to nag the festivalgoers: where to find a great photographer? Of course, they are loads photographers all around, but the writer and artistic director of the festival; Kangni Alem wanted more or less artistic images, instead images leaving a bit of the ordinary. Bingo! On a photography blog of "gbozo", an urban phenomenon of street racing where young bikers illegally occupied public roads to carry out extremely dangerous tricks. The images were those of Jean-Claude Abalo, who introduced the general public to a societal phenomenon practicing in secrecy.

The originality of the subject, sharpness, bokeh wanted, the expressive value of the images made Alem Kangni ask the photographer to document the festival. The rest were details amongst many others that aggregate to the CV of this multifaceted character, affecting almost all areas of journalism. Print, radio, television, web journalism, media-social and photography, this fan of 80's and 90's has touched and worked in all the genres. Starting at Kyrielle Magazine in 1999 as Editorial Secretary and Photographer, then it started from there. He then worked with TogoMag. Night Life, Perspectives Industries Magazine, Young Africa, African Issues, Afrik.com, Apanews, Planet Youth, A + Mag, Radio Deutsche Welle, AFP TV, Netinfo.tv, Tootogo.tv ...

Jean-Claude Abalo says that he is one of those photographers who like to tell himself a story that the model inspires before pressing the shutter. He tries to convey a message and not a cliché, which is one of the main values of his generation. As a form of images "involuntarily committed" against a background of "simplicity and opposite view," the Togolese photographer stands out.

Very comfortable on the field for more than fifteen years, "JC" (for short) has continued to walk neighborhoods, towns and cities around the world, documenting societal events, social misery, an event provoking tension and attention. For him, a picture is worth as much as a relevant story.

Jean-Claude Abalo is talented, but we must recognize that it is through a lot of work and research that he has found his way. This self-taught photographer came to photography by vocation, learning on the job before having the chance to do internships with those leading the profession, Georges Gobet, Agence France Presse (AFP) among others.

His photography is a reflection of the sum of his experiences, which allows him to have a particular look on reality. He tries to think outside the box all the time, to show reality in a raw way. Between the photographer and his camera, there is a kind of symbiosis, a fusion.

For a while now, the photojournalist has not stopped. JC has been eyeing more towards documentary and filmmaking. Another passionate adventure with open arms.