Nyaba Léon Ouedraogo

(Burkina Faso, 1978)

Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo turned to photography after a serious injury prevented him from pursuing a career as an athlete. Ouedraogo has made a particular speciality of travel-based photographic journalism. His approach, which blurs the lines between photojournalism and documentary work, involves, in his words, “not showing the images for what they depict, but for what they transmit”.

The artist’s work has been featured in various publications, including View Magazine and GEO. He won the Coup de Coeur prize at Bourse du Talent two years running in 2009 and 2010 and is a co-founder of the Topics Visual Arts Platform group as well as a co-founder of the BISO Biennial, the first biennial dedicated to sculpture in Africa. Ouedraogo was awarded the Prix de l’Union Européenne at the 9th Rencontres de la Photographies of Bamako (Mali) and was a finalist of the famous Prix Pictet in 2010 (Switzerland).

Working in series of photographs, often spanning over several years, Ouedraogo has been critically acclaimed for his frontal yet humanising approach to portraiture and landscapes. His coverage of environmental emergencies in both Ghana and the DRC have become visual references all over digital and printed media. More recently, the artist has developed increasingly fictional series investigating contemporary notions of identity, animism, and heritage. His work is shown internationally.

N'dolé (Mon Amour)
Le Parfum de l'Intime
Le Film de nos Emotions
Notre Histoire derrière la Cour

Selected Exhibitions & Collections


Solo exhibitions (selection)        

2022     "Kiss" BLAACKBOX, Antwerp, Belgium

2022     "Mokré (Le Baiser)" Institut Français de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Group exhibitions (selection)        


Curatorial Projects


2020 BISO Biennale de la Sculpture, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso




The Pas-Chaudoir Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa and the Diaspora, Antwerp, Belgium