by Gabriel Moses
Photographer and Filmmaker Gabriel Moses is dedicated to capturing the essence of the generations before him through the lens of current times. An admirer of the quiet confidence of his Nigerian mother and grandparents generation, Gabriel transfers this version of beauty into all his work.
In Bal d’Afrique, Gabriel extends his personal visual invitation to his world. An homage to the then and now of African culture—music, dance, cinema and beauty—and how it perfectly intertwines with everyday life. Flowing through the ordinary of the day, into special occasions. Through the universal and the cultural. Beautiful simplicity of everyday life and the celebration of it.
The unexpected humorous interactions with a stranger when rushing home. Children in uneven numbers finding perfect rhythm in hand clapping games. The strength of motherhood. The hope and despair of generations. The stillness of joyous moments.
A nostalgic nod, through subtle nuances, to the home of many, capturing its confidence, traditions and love. Capturing the organic moments of transparent intimacy. An uncompromised reflection and celebration of what it is to be African.
“Bal d’Afrique is a celebration. It’s an open invitation to explore and interpret what that celebration is. For me, it is to capture joy on seemingly ordinary days. Like the ancestral images I saw of my mother with her friends. It is the nostalgic moments of beauty, confidence and warmth that celebrate what it is to be African.”
— Gabriel Moses
“Bal d’Afrique is one of my earliest fragrances. At the time of its formulation, I was obsessed with the translation of memories into scent. At the same time, I felt confident enough to include an imaginary component.
My father lived and travelled in Africa for 15 years. I would read his diaries, the way he travelled; the different people that he met. For me, this was a way to connect to him and his diaries gave life to my imagination of the experience of arriving in Africa. Bal d’Afrique reflects that; it’s an imaginary journey as well as a complete celebration of how I see African culture and its influence.”
— Ben Gorham
Through the diaries of his father, Ben Gorham gained insight of a time spent apart. The documented reflections of more than a decade spent across Africa, extended and transformed Ben’s own memories and creativity culminating in what became Bal d’Afrique. The perfume is an olfactive manifestation of Byredo’s a tribute to a continent with unmeasurable diversity of people, creativity, culture, arts and practices.