The 30 African photographers selected for this pioneering anthology challenge long-standing Western misconceptions about Africa. Created from the beginnings of the continent’s struggles for independence to the postcolonial present, their diverse works include studio portraiture and architectural views from the 1940s and 1950s; photojournalism from Drum, the influential South African magazine that celebrated and critiqued life in the 1950s; scenes of the activities of cosmopolitan youth in the 1960s and 1970s; and contemporary art that addresses more personal concerns, from issues of identity and representation of the body, to formal studies exploring the symbolism of light and darkness. Okwui Enwezor’s and Octavio Zaya’s probing essays discuss photographic representation, Western perceptions of Africa and the changing self-images of Africans over this period of profound transformation. Olu Oguibe’s text illuminates the nature and uses of the image in African history and traditions. Also included are artists’ biographies and personal statements.
Okwui Enwezor, Olu Oguibe, Octavio Zaya and Clare Bell
280 pages, 24x30cm , hardcover
Published by Guggenheim Museum