3 Articles by:

Raoul J. Granqvist

Raoul Granqvist is Professor Emeritus in Language Studies at Umeå University in Sweden.

The story of how the most famous portrait of a young Chinua Achebe was taken

When the great Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe died this April, one of the photographs used repeatedly to illustrate stories or obituaries was a portrait taken of him in 1959 by the American photographer Eliot Elisofon. It is useful to unpack the image, a conventional portrait of Achebe leaning on a desk with two copies of Things Fall Apart in front of him. A photograph, a snapshot, the filtering of the lost moment, is always more than the visual graphics and the intended 'message' it proffers to mediate.