Forever Walé continues to be a personal reflection of women and the Walé ritual in Congo but first and foremost the result of a unique collaboration with young pygmy women, their respective clans, and an ethnomusicologist. Working with many artisans of the forest, Willocq builds his staged photographs in the middle of the bush, without any photomontage or collage.
Self-taught French photographer Patrick Willocq has lived and worked 34 years in diverse cities throughout his career, including Kinshasa, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Paris. Patrick first developed a love for the Democratic Republic of Congo while living there as a teenager. In 2012, and following a trip back to the Congo, Patrick decided to devote himself entirely to photography (he worked for multinationals in Asia Pacific for over 20 years). Tired of images that stigmatised the nation, Patrick Willocq's work pays tribute to the "beauty, simplicity and dignity" of daily life in the DR Congo. patrickwillocq.com