Unity and Diversity
Rijasolo, was born in France.
In 2004, he went back to Madagascar, the country of his roots, which he had not visited for 20 years. With the help of a local council in Brittany, he set up photography workshops for young people in the town of Antsiranana (Diego Suarez). At the same time he started a wandering work called “MIVERINA”, in which he strove to show how difficult it was to regain an intimate relationship with Madagascar.
His selection at the 2005 Rencontres de la Photographie Africaine in Bamako gave him the confidence he need to work as a full-time photographer.
In December 2006, he embarked on a photojournalism course in Paris (EMI-CFD).
He was a reporter-photographer for the Wostok Press agency during the 2007 French presidential campaign, and in November of the same year, went on to set up RIVA PRESS (www.riva-press.com) in association with four photojournalists concerned with maintaining an independent view. Since he collaborates with french newspapers and magazines as Libération, Le Monde, Paris Match or Jeune Afrique (see here >> tearsheets_Rijasolo)
In 2010, he won the 1st prize of Leica 35 mm wide angle contest.
In 2011, Rijasolo decided to return living in Madagascar where he focuses on reportage and corporate. Since 2013 he has been working with AFP (Agence France Presse).
In 2013, He published his first book of photography “Madagascar, nocturnes” (no comment® editions) about nightlife in Madagascar.
In 2019 he won the PARITANA Contemporary Art Award.
In 2022 he won the World Press Photo Award for Africa, Long-Term Project category.
Citizens' perception of the Authority in rural areas.
2015 & 2016
In Madagascar, 78% of the population lives in the countryside. Who represents and holds power in these rural areas?
I photographed the people who represent authority in the rural world: the clergyman, the gendarme, the district chief (local representative of the State), the "roitelet", the Fokontany chief, the mayor, the raiamandreny, the traditional doctor, etc.
These people with an "authoritarian" function in the bush have practically absolute power among the rural population. This power is granted to them either by the people (election), by the state, or by tradition.
The use of this power can be misused by its holder, who can abuse it for personal gain. The apathy of the rural population favors these practices, most often illiterate (in 2014, 46% of Malagasy could neither read nor write according to the Ministry of National Education) and in constant economic and food survival; apathy also accentuated by the ambient political discourse asserting that fatality would be the cause of the Malagasy problems. Thus, the idea of demanding an improvement of one's daily life or holding accountable the Authority's representatives is not even considered (anymore).