Madagascan photographic heritage - a treasure to be preserved and shared
In Madagascar, TotalEnergies Foundation supports the projects of the Photography Museum, which has set itself a twofold mission: to showcase the Island’s photographic heritage and invite young people in Madagascar to embrace their history through these pictures taken between 1860 and 1960.
Preserving the work of Ramilijaona, a photographer in the golden age of Madagascan photography
In January 2022, the Photography Museum began work to preserve and protect 50,000 negatives on glass plates. This precious resource is a considerable part Ramilijaona’s work - a Madagascan photographer who died in 1948. The negatives had been stored for many years in a family attic and were becoming damaged with time. The Museum therefore decided to create a storage room with optimal conditions (hygrometry, temperature, luminosity, etc.) to preserve them. The project also involves scanning, indexing and cataloging the negatives.
TotalEnergies in Madagasikara has contributed to the purchase of the equipment required and participated in funding the work, because these photographs have a particular heritage interest. In the 1930s, wealthy clients flocked to Ramilijaona’s studio to have their portraits taken. Whether he took photographs of weddings, first communions, family get-togethers or official portraits - the photographer stood out by the way he played with light and composition in his pictures. These elegant photographs, suffused with tenderness and charm, are a portrait gallery that has a lot to tell about Madagascan society at that time.
Welcome young people and give them access to an entire period of their history
Alongside this initiative, TotalEnergies is also helping to ensure that pupils from public schools can visit the museum and has contributed to producing a booklet on the history of Madagascar, a copy of which is handed out to them at the end of their visit. The aim by 2024 is to enable 5,000 young people to visit these archives and find out more about the history of their ancestors and their island through these photographs.
Photo by Ramilijaona
Cedric DONCK, Honorary President of the Musée de la Photographie, Anne-Valérie TROY, General Manager of TotalEnergies Marketing Madagasikara SA, and Helihanta RAJAONARISON, President of the Musée de la Photographie