AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

PHOTOGRAPHY

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Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Gerard Gaskin, Legendary: Interview with the photographer

“I started become interested in this project, ‘Legendary’, back when I hung out in 42nd Street and Time Square in New York City. In the 42nd street area there was a place right across the street from the bus station on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue call Show World and it was the largest peep

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

The Photographs of Thabiso Sekgala

There is one photograph (above) of the late Thabiso Sekgala’s that always reminds me of home. It is of lavender jacarandas lining a country road, paling a little from the weak winter sun. The haze of purple is...

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

LagosPhoto is Five Years Old

Four years ago I interviewed Azu Nwagbogu, director of Lagos-based African Artists’ Foundation and the annual photography festival LagosPhoto. At the time the interview appeared in Guernica, LagosPhoto had just finished its second year and Nwagbogu’s ambitions...

Monday, October 6th, 2014

A museum in the middle of the street

Three towering moko jumbies stroll up behind the stage, as if on cue, dressed in suits of glow-in-the-dark yellow and electric blue. The sun is setting on the second and final day of ChaleWote, Accra’s annual street...

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Walking With Wole Soyinka

Several times, I have met Professor Wole Soyinka without actually meeting him. It was either in a crowded reading room in Washington D.C. or at some event in Nigeria. As a photographer not as a writer, I...

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Goma Rap: The 9th annual Salaam Kivu International Film Festival

When the M23 militia took control of Goma, the capital of North Kivu in Eastern Congo, in late 2012, the premises of Yole Africa were quickly occupied by a large crowd of youngsters. Some of them were...

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Live from Grahamstown

Every winter, for 11 days in early July,  the sleepy South African college town of Grahamstown comes alive with art. Artists from all over the world swarm to the tiny town, and every nook and cranny is packed...

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Photography: Conversation with David Goldblatt about “Rise and Fall of Apartheid”

Almost fifteen years ago, I saw David Goldblatt’s photographs in Rotterdam, at the Netherlands Architecture Institute. They were small and unobtrusive, and I stood before them, very moved. Subsequently, as I learned the story of South Africa...

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Film: Vivian Maier’s 100,000 photographs

Vivian Maier, the nanny turned street photographer, who has found fame posthumously, now a subject of the documentary ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ (trailer below), was a recluse in the exaggerated form.  With a recluse like the film director,...

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

This Studio Of A Life–Portraits Of Rappers And Producers

I can’t recall when I first fell in love with hip-hop, but I do know that the first song I transcribed was Coolio’s ‘Gangster’s paradise.’ Transcribing lyrics in ‘songbooks’ was a big deal in the mid-nineties; it...

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

‘Dreams Close To Home': In search of the perfect wall to paint in South Africa

Sometime last year, I attended an exhibition opening entitled “Dreams Close To Home” at the Two by Two Art Studio in Newtown, Johannesburg. It was the culmination of a self-initiated project by the artists Lisolomzi Pikoli (Fuzzy Slipperz, illustrator),...

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Why Is No One Else Talking About These Musicians?

I got the chance to be part of the Redbull Basscamp in Johannesburg during October 2013. For six days, a unique cross-section of hand picked South African musicians holed up in central Johannesburg for lectures from music industry heavyweights in...

Monday, May 12th, 2014

The music that changed my life

The Cape Town suburb of Observatory is known for being a small bohemian enclave, providing low cost housing for students, artists and ‘free spirits’ of all sorts. Walk down Lower Main Road past the quaint mini-Victorian houses...

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

The Naija Podcast, Episode 3: Featuring photographer Glenna Gordon

Glenna Gordon is a freelance photographer based in Brooklyn. She takes evocative pictures of everyday life in Nigeria, showing a special interest in Northern Nigeria. In this interview, Glenna opens up on misconceptions of the north, what...

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

#Photojournal: Back To The City Festival

Back To The City is a hip-hop and street fashion festival held in Johannesburg’s Newtown Precinct every year on April 27th, South Africa’s Freedom Day. The festival has seen unprecedented growth since its inception in 2006. From...

Friday, April 25th, 2014

News from Nigeria

I told my son that he would get his first sense of things as soon as we boarded the flight. Planes bound for Lagos, I told him, were filled with black people and not just in economy...

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Rwanda and the NY Times: On those images by Pieter Hugo pairing perpetrators and victims of the 1994 Genocide

“Portraits of Reconciliation,”–the photo-essay commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide–published recently in the New York Times, is a deeply disturbing piece of journalism.  Profoundly banal, the subtitle states, “20 years after the genocide in Rwanda, reconciliation...

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Zanele Muholi’s new work mourns and celebrates South African queer lives

Many of the images in Zanele Muholi's new solo exhibition, "Of Love & Loss," depict the celebration of black gay and lesbian weddings. She tells me about Ayanda Moremi’s marriage to Nhlanhla in Katlehong, Johannesburg, in November...

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The everyday lives of African immigrants in South Africa

The experience of African immigrants living in South Africa has previously been portrayed through images of violence, deportation and police brutality. Local photographer, Sydelle Willow Smith, attempts to challenge these visual stereotypes in her exhibition Soft Walls...

Friday, March 14th, 2014

#CaptionThis: What was Madonna pointing at?

For some odd reason, last weekend, this striking black and white image by photographer Terry Kane of pop singer Madonna "tour(ing) a UN millennium village in Mtanga, Malawi, in 2007" illustrated a Financial Times book review...

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Instagramming Africa

Everyday Africa is an Instagram-based project aiming to document moments from daily life. It was founded in 2012 by the American photojournalist Peter DiCampo and writer Austin Merrill. Initially featuring the work of mostly American foreign correspondents,...

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Elizabeth Barrett’s house on Harrington Street, Cape Town

I find Nicholas Eppel’s photographs of Elizabeth Barrett striking because it reveals the intimate details of the on-going, ordinary life of a woman in urban Cape Town. That she dedicated herself and her meagre resources to philanthropic...

Friday, February 21st, 2014

“Congo Dialogues.” Alice Seeley Harris and Sammy Baloji on exhibit in London

The London gallery Autograph ABP is currently exhibiting Alice Seeley Harris’ well-known 1904 Congo Reform Association photographs, together, or in some form of juxtaposition, with new commissioned photographic and video work by contemporary young Congolese artist Sammy...

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Eliot Elisofon’s Africa: Old, Updated, Worse

Eliot Elisofon did not cast “new light” or “refine Africa in a new and a complex way for American audiences,” as claimed in Susan Stamberg’s “‘Life’ Photographer Showed Africa Through a New Lens” on NPR (February 10,...

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Muntu Vilakazi photographs the ‘Politics of Bling’ on Johannesburg’s East Rand

Muntu Vilakazi is an established photojournalist currently employed by City Press in Johannesburg. Today marks the opening of his first solo exhibition, which runs through March 16 at Goethe On Main in the trendy and controversial Maboneng...

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Ponte City: A Photobook

Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse’s ‘Ponte City’ will be familiar to many. The photographic project began in 2008 and won the Discovery Award at the Rencontres d’Arles festival in 2011. This month, Steidl published the project as...

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

New Photography Book Depicts the South African Social Landscape

Between 2012 and 2013, an exercise took place known as the France South Africa Season. This bilateral initiative was aimed at strengthening relations between the two countries. In 2012 South Africa hosted France for a wide range...

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The Work of Kenyan Photographer Mimi Cherono Ng’ok

Mimi Cherono Ng’ok (b. 1983) is a young Kenyan photographer who lives and works in Nairobi. Educated from the University of Cape Town in 2006 she has a number of exhibition and projects behind her. Despite her...

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

We send our Tokoloshe to battle with those trying to make us forget the atrocities of Marikana

The Tokoloshe emerges from its secret lair. Like a thief in the night, it creates a mirror image of ourselves in some of the most contrary of places and then instantly vanishes. These living pictures (below) take...

Friday, January 17th, 2014

The Prisoner and his Pin-up Girl

The National Geographic issue of July 1975 is as delightful a time capsule as you would expect from the magazine that dictated our understanding of the world. On the very first page is an advertisement for Iran...

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