Talking Arts: CHAMPION.NE.S Photography Exhibition

Diversity and social inclusion epitomized by sports champions

By Rachel Wu, March 20, 2024

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The Olympic Games have always been much more than the sports competition itself. 

It is about building a peaceful and better world. 

CHAMPION.NE.S, a photography exhibition organized by the Department of Cultural and Education Cooperation of the Consulate General of France in Guangzhou, talks about diversity and social inclusion, a better world by definition promised in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. 

Yes, you heard it right. 

CHAMPION.NE.S does not picture champions kissing the gold medals, nor does it zoom in on the hot tears running down their cheeks as the national anthem is being played. 

It is definitely not about the aura of championship radiating on top of their head, but about their multiple roles in society as a daughter/son, a mom, an entrepreneur, a writer… 

It depicts the athletes' journey of becoming a living statement of what they really care for and the profound social commitment they volunteer to take over in the cause of building a more inclusive society. 

This commitment bears more significance after they have acquired their gold medals. 

Representing diversity, the four athletes are...

Marie-Amélie Le Fur

Paralympic Games 2021 T64 long jump world record holder; 2016 long jump, 400-meter and 2012 100-meter gold medalist; president of the Paralympic Committee of France; and also a mom. 

Aya Cissoko

A French-born Malian; 2006 world champion and European champion of English boxing in the female amateur category; became a writer and actress after she retired from boxing due to injury. 

Patricio Manuel

The first transgender athlete in the professional boxing league of the United States; 2016 national champion of male amateur boxing; five-time national champion of female amateur boxing from 2006 to 2012; an advocate of transgender social inclusion. 

Arnaud Assoumani

Paralympics 2012 T47 long jump world record holder and 2008 gold medalist; ambassador of Paris Olympic Games 2024; founder of Golden Arm Lab, an innovative art project platform. 

Pairing the athletes with photographers who share a similar vision creates ingenious images that reflect their gender, ethnic, and cultural identity. 

The prominent presence of Marie-Amelis' artificial limbs under the lens of Magali Lambert; sharp contrast between Aya's red boxing gloves and her ebony skin tone that radiates a sense of pride from Francois Huguier's perspective; the poised masculine body and showered face of Patricio captured by Maia Flore; the dynamic motions reflecting Arnaud's active engagement in areas beyond sports with Adrien Selbert's dramatic approach.

All these tell compelling stories of their vitality and resilience that fuel their pursuit of a better self and a better world.

Exhibition Information


Until March 24, 2024

SHINING Art Gallery, No. 1 Middle Island, Dongshan Lake Park, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou

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