Mario Epanya Presents "Glamazonia"
It is not always easy to talk about these artists who freeze in time the moments of our lives. Epanya Mario is a talented photographer, a true globetrotter he traveled the four corners of the globe captivating beauty, unique and magical moments. In collaboration with the Center August Wilson for African American Culture in Pittsburg, FashionAFRICANA since December 8, showcase GLAMAZO NIA, an exhibition of his photographs. GLAMAZONIA is a tribute to the beauty of Africa, where Mario celebrates his African ancestry and the customs of the mother continent, through his interpretation of aesthetic and clothing styles of his African ancestors, during ceremonies and special occasions. He tells us a little more in this explicit interview...
Flashmag:Hi Mario, We are pleased that you have kindly agreed to answer a few questions raised by your work Glamazonia if we already know that this exhibition celebrate the African beauty we would like to know a little more. Why did you use the term Glamazonia? What does it mean? What message carries this term?
Mario Epanya:Although the message behind GLAMAZONIA is a message of hope and creativity, GLAMAZONIA is the result of the combination of GLAMOUR to promote African beauty and AMAZONE for the voluntary and warrior side of African women, who often are matriarchs.
Flashmag:You work closely with Fashion Africana, what is it? And what is the general idea of this concept?
Mario Epanya:Fashion Africana is a wonderful event that was created 11 years ago by two friends Demeatria Boccella and Darnell L Mclaurin. This event celebrates the beauty and creativity of the black diaspora in various fields such as dance, fashion, music, design etc. ... And once a year. But this is the first time they invite and incorporates photography in the event. I am much honored to have been chosen because I realize the importance of the symbolic.
Flashmag: by highlighting the style of your African ancestors in this exhibition, what goal do you want to achieve? Which group do you target and for what purpose?
Mario Epanya:The goal is just to share. Open minds, to have another look at African culture.
Having worked for many years in the fashion industry, the lack of representation of African, or Black symbolism was flagrant, through my work I try to democratize things; so that in the near future, all this is no longer subject to controversy and debate.
Flashmag: invited by the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh for African-American culture, how was the reaction of the African-American community towards your work?
Mario Epanya:No word strong enough to express it ... Demeatria Boccella and her entourage welcomed me, like one of the family... this is a very strange feeling because it was the first time that 'we met but it is as if we have always known each other … about the public, there was a lot of enthusiasm and "Thank you's" and we were understanding each other’s behind these two words. A lot of emotion...
Flashmag: before closing this interview do you have a special message to the public? What is your agenda for the foreseeable future? And where one can get the Calendar Glamazonia?
Epanya Mario: I'm also a little bit vacationing; I’m discovering New York, spending pleasant moments with friends. I have business appointments with two black Legends of the international fashion here in New York. We will discuss important projects to come. For the rest you can check out the Facebook page FASHIONAFRICANA catalog and calendar or contact Demetria Boccella on Facebook.
Thank you to Flashmag and all the best...
Interview by Hubert Marlin Jr