Giya Makondo-Wills (b.1994) is a British-South African documentary photographer and visual artist. 

She holds a BA and MA in Documentary Photography from the University of South Wales (formerly Newport) and has exhibited and published her work internationally since 2017. 

She has been awarded and commended for her work and regularly collaborates with various institutions as a consultant for project regarding community collaboration, de colonizing the archive and representation in photography. Her first book 'They Came From The Water While TheWorld Watched' was published in 2020 by The Lost Light Recordings.

Her work is primarily concerned with the urgent matters of our time and how they pertain to the history of marginalised communities. At the core of her practice is an urge to challenge visual culture and the western gaze, recognising the history of the camera and its role in writing new histories working around themes such as identity, race, colonisation, the western gaze and systems of power.  With de colonial thinking at the forefront of her work, she focusses on collaboration through image making and the importance of preserving the stories of those that are often forgotten.

As of 2021 she is a lecturer on the Photography BA programmes at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK) and The Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam. She is primarily based in The Netherlands. 

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2022 - Bodies in (e)motion -  From Where I Stand, Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie (Kunstverein Ludwigshafen and other locations. Germany, March - May 2022)

2020 - CROYANCES, faire et defaire l'invisible (Cultural Institue of Islam. Paris, France. March 2020 - January 2021)

2018 - Photo Vogue , BASE (Milan, Italy, November 2018)

2018 - Hiareth. An MA Documentary photography group show. (Truman Brewery, London, England, October 2018)

2018 - FOUNDATION. An exhibition celebrating the best photographic talent nurtured in the South West. (Poly, Falmouth, England, April 28th-2nd May 2018)

 2018 - Duesseldorf Photo Weekend 2018 'Neighbourhood' (Dusseldorf, Germany, 16th -18th February 2018)

 2017/2018 - Cream 17: A Showcase of Graduate Photography Talent (Crane Kalman Gallery, Brighton - U.K)

 2017/2018 - Young Selector for 'Empire through the Lens: pictures from the British Empire and Commonwealth Collection' (Bristol Museum and Art Gallery - U.K)

 2017 - LagosPhoto Festival 2017 'Regimes of Truth' (African Artists Foundation, Lagos, Nigeria, 24th November - 15th December 2017)

 2017- Its Nice That Magazine ‘Introducing The Graduates’ (London, U.K 5th July 2017)

 2017 - Two Eyes Serve A Movement USW Documentary Photography Graduates (Seen Fifteen Gallery, London 16th-21st June 2017)

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Awards and Commendations

2022 - Selected by FOTODOK to join the  FUTURERS in Photography platform

2019 - Nominated by Anastasia Taylor-Lind for the 2019 World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass

 2018 - '31 women to watch out for' - British Journal of Photography

 2018 - Shortlisted for the  PHMuseum Women's grant 

 2018 -  Royal Photographic Society Graduate Class of 2018 

 2018 -  British Journal of Photography Graduate Class of 2018

 2018 - YCN (You Can Now) annual magazine - 20 Rising Stars in the creative industry

 2017 - Selected for Its Nice That Magazine ‘The Graduates’

 2017 - Shortlisted for the Royal Photographic Society 160 Exhibition

 2017 - Shortlisted for Photogrvy Grant 

 2017 - Prize winner -  IAFOR Documentary Photography Award

 2017 - Selected by Marie-France Kittler & Salvator Vitale – Source Photographic Review, Graduates

 2016 - Recipient of the Reginald Salisbury Fund Travel Award

 2016 - Prize winner 'Call to Celebrate Culture' – Jimmy Nelson Foundation


2022 - (IN)VISIBILITIES, Gender and photography in The Netherlands, FOTODOK Conference

2022 - Bodies in (e)motion - From Where I Stand, Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie, Artist talk , Kunstverein Ludwigshafen, Germany 

2021 - Guest Lecture - St Joost School of art and Design, Breda, The Netherlands 

2021 - Artists talk -  BOP Bristol - Royal Photographic Society & Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol, England

2021 - More Than a Number - Symposium, Turning Point: Diffusion 2021 ffotogallery, Cardiff, Wales

2021 - Lunchtime Lecture, The Royal Academy of Art in The Hauge, KABK

2021 - Belfast Photo Festival, The Age of The Female Gaze panel discussion 

2020 - Guest Lecture - London College Of Communication, London, England 

2020 - Guest Lecture - Willem de Kooning Academie, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 

2020 - British Journal of Photography and 1854 Media, in conversation with Giya Makondo-Wills

2020- Miniclick Photography talks - The Royal Photographic Society, Bristol 

2020 - Miniclick Photography talks - Marwoods, Brighton 

2020 - Guest Lecture - Erasmus Exchange: Migration and Citizenship - London 

2019 - Women in Focus: Documentary and Citizenship - National Museum of Wales and The European Centre for Documentary Research 

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