is an ongoing photography project documenting the vanishing tradition of the lamba, a Malagasy garment that serves as a symbol of the island of Madagascar’s cultural heritage, pride, and symbol of empowerment for Malagasy people. Although Western clothing has taken over Malagasy people's clothing for daily use among the younger generations, the lamba remains cherished by our grandparents and worn by everyone on special occasions.
Malagasy people take pride in style and appearance, and fashion design has remained somewhat indigenous to the island of Madagascar. Malagasy people wear this textile that forms a solemn connection with the living and their ancestors, making them feel unique, dignified, and inspired.
For the background of each picture, I used a lambahoany, a printed cotton lamba depicting a typical daily Malagasy life scene, and featuring a proverb on the lower border of the design.
is intended to celebrate the value of my cultural heritage.
Miora Rajaonary is a documentary photographer born and raised Madagascar, currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work focuses on social issues and identities in contemporary Africa.
Miora was named one of the four winners of the inaugural Getty Images ARRAY Grant in July 2018, and won First Prize at the Addis Foto Fest Portfolio Review, sponsored by National Geographic in December 2018. She also was named one of the “10 emerging photographers of color to watch” in January 2018 by i-D magazine, one of the 22 inaugural Women Photograph mentees in 2018, is currently one of the inaugural Native and The Everyday Projects’ mentees as well.