Project Overview: African Photography Network
Project Components: Traveling Exhibition, Online Network, Events
Geographical Scope: Activities in Mali, The Gambia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, France, Denmark
Project Status: Ongoing, launched 2010
Project Overview: African Photography Network
Africa consists of 54 countries which equal the size of China, India, the United States and a large part of Europe all put together. More than 1 billion people live on the continent and over 2000 different languages are spoken. Despite this diversity, Africa is united by artistic expressions where the element of storytelling plays a significant part.
The starting point of AFRICA REFRAMED is the vivid and expressive imagery, which is one of the prominent exponents for the creative growth characterizing Africa in these years. Both photography, fashion, design, film, and other cultural manifestations explore the theme identity and the history of the continent from new and surprising angles.
The disciplines extend traditions, which in the case of photography go back over 100 years. Since the beginning of the 19th century, this media has been used to explore themes as independence and the creation of identity, as well as for documenting customs and traditions from Tangier to Cape Town.
Through the use of texture, bold colors and patterns, fashion and furniture designers incorporate centuries of folklore and proverbs in their creations as well. The artists reflect Africa's new role as a global entity by delving into the past and contemplate the future with a fresh pair of eyes.
AFRICA REFRAMED makes it possible to take a closer look at some of the thoughts and ideas occupying the mindset of contemporary African artists across genres, and dig into an inspiring selection of feature and documentary films.
African photography Network Website
African Photography Network is an online resource for African photography. By uniting and showcasing photographers it seeks to raise awareness of what is happening in the field of photography in Africa. Few regions remain as photographically misrepresented as Africa and African Photography Network exists to support and promote African Photographers who are taking back control of their image with a more nuanced portrayal.
Visit site @ www.africanphotographynetwork.org
The title AFRICA REFRAMED is drawn from the concept to reframe and the exhibition emphasises two meanings of this concept. Firstly, to look at, present, or think about ideas, religious beliefs, and contexts in new or different ways. Secondly, the specific meaning from the terminology of photography where it points to the act of changing focus, the point of view, or perspective through the camera's lens.
The Story of Africa Reframed
In summer 2015 Commerce & Culture proposed an idea for a photo exhibition in the 54,000 sq. ft large exhibition space Øksnehallen located in central Copenhagen. The concept revolved around new impressions on Africa seen through the eyes of some of the most iconic, contemporary African photographers. The mangement of Øksnehallen where immediately fascinated by the narrative and together we embarked on a journey to futher develop the exhibition concept we finally called AFRICA REFRAMED.
Reframed, because the photographers attempt to change focus, vision and perspectives on Africa through the tangible lens of their cameras. Reframed, because our aim with the exhibition is to present the creative growth and cultural dynamics that characterize Africa right now in multiple ways through many different media.
From the onset it was our intention to include the series Bamako Nights made in collaboration with the young photographers from the photo school Cadre de Promotion pour la Formation en Photographie in Mali alongside the headliners. But soon emerged the idea of expanding the exhibition with other arts and cultural expressions in order to create different entrances to the story of Creative Africa. AFRICA REFRAMED therefore came to presents photo art, fashion, furniture design, documentaries, textile workshop, food workshop, soap opera, podcasts, book store as well as feature films.
We are not alone with the fascination of the thriving creativity in Africa. Numerous exhibitions of African artists are literally swarming Europe and the rest of the world. The global fashion scene has discovered the continent and African writers and musicians climb the international bestseller lists and music charts. The fascination derives partly from the complex interactions between global, national, ethnic and personal identity that characterize the works of many of the African artist and their dialogue with the world.
AFRICA REFRAMED captures glimpses of this vibrant creativity. We have chosen to present a kaleidoscope of art forms and cultural expressions, but many other stories could have been told about the diverse Africa that has so much to offer right now.
Photographers and Designers
Our exhibition AFRICA REFRAMED presents the photographers Victor Omar Diop (Senegal), Namsa Leuba (Schwitzerland/Guinea), Dillon Marsh (South Afrika), Fabrice Monteiro (Senegal), Lien Botha (South Africa), Tahir Karmali (Kenya) and students from the photo school Cadre de Promotion pour la Formation en Photographie in Mali. The contributing designers are Christine Mhando (Tanzania) and Yinka llori (Nigeria/UK)