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AFRICAN PHOTOGRAPHY INITIATIVES | 2016 african-photography-initiatives.org Design

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The works presented in MULTIPLE GAZES OF A COUNTRY’S PHOTOGRAPHED PAST are based on the photo material kept in the Press Photo Archives Buea, Cameroon, and emerge from an online call to use historical photographs as a starting point for artistic interventions. 27 artists from 17 countries have accepted the invitation and submitted their artistic reinterpretations and exploration of a small sample of photographs from the Archives. The results of their dealing with historical material, the confrontation of document and art work, the merger of past and present, reveal the great, at times disturbing potential of artistic engagements with archive material. For two years, between 2013 and 2015, African Photography Initiatives has been working in the Press Photo Archives Buea, Cameroon, a state-owned institution under the authority of the Ministry of Communication. Over 25’000 negatives were digitized as well as 14’000 contact sheets, each containing between 12 and 16 contact prints. The digital conservation of the archive material was supplemented by physical conservation and protection measures. The overall objective of the archive project was to provide sustainable access to the images for people of all kind and interests: historians, amateurs and professionals, anthropologists, art historians, and not least, artists, so that they can work with the photo material and use it for their respective purposes. Deeply convinced that only archives that are used and present in the public conscience will survive African Photography Initiatives will continue to promote a critical, academic and non-academic engagement with the Press Photo Archives’ material.


BUEA, CAMEROON | What later was to become the Press Photo Archives Buea, Cameroon, started in 1955 as the Photo Section of the British Colonial Information Service. This administrative unit was continued after the country’s independence and reunification with Francophone Cameroon in 1961 until the late 1990s. Many people have contributed to the smooth functioning of the Photo Service and the survival of the Archives connected to it but one person deserves special mention. Late Emmanuel Moanga Mbwaye (1924-2016) was the Photo Section’s first photographer and later its head. His deep attachment to the visual heritage of his country was our continuous inspiration.

THE ARCHIVE | What is an archive? Answers to this simple question go in many directions. It is a place, a space, an institution, a building, organized and maintained, or not, by the state, public or private groups and associations, or individuals. For sure, archives are not simply historical repositories but living nodal points where scholarly, administrative and artistic practices, politics and technology intersect. Archives are sites of uncovering, re-covering and exploration as well as of concealment and suppression. They are crucial in shaping our understanding of past events in the present and thus of individual and social imagination and identities; in the past, present and future. As sites of preservation the archives’ main role is to guarantee the conservation and accessibility of documents for their use. In recent years, digital technologies have fundamentally changed the parameters of interaction and engagement with the archive and the records it preserves. Online consultations have become a common feature of research as much as the easy and global provision of digitized images. However, all this undisputed advantages should not divert our attention from the utmost importance of preserving analogue photo archives.


“Indépendance - Welcome - We are happy to receive you.”


To let the spirit of independence and its capacity for enchantment grow, you need the whole society to participate, not only as “standard bearers�, but also as real actors involved in the building of society/the nation, as well as artists, photographers and members of the media who spread their words, voices and images. Erika Nimis


REFERENCES


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1A | Buea, 1910. impa-m55663. © Basel Mission 2A | Entrance to the Cameroon Press Photo Archives-Buea (CPPA-B) building, 2013. © Rosario Mazuela 3A | CPPA-B repository, 2013. © Rosario Mazuela 4A | Groundsheet, negatives 10871096, ca. 1957. © CPPA-B 1B | Campaigns tour and elections of West Cameroon President, 1970. NEE_2762. © CPPA-B 2B | Visit of Liberia’s president Tubman, 1962. NEG_8089. © CPPA-B 3B | In Memoriam. Emmanuel N. Mbwaye (1928-2016), 2015. © Rosario Mazuela 4B | Pointing out, 2015. © Hillie de Rooij

1C | Reception of Prime Minster (S.T. Muna) and Dr. Endeley at Victoria, 1965. NEE_5483. © CPPA-B 2C | Every Bit of Music Revolves, 2015. © Spring Ulmer 3C | The One We Were Expecting, 2015. © Spring Ulmer 4C | Visit of HE Colonel Abubakar Waziri Ag. Military Governor of the Cross River State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1976. NGT_0152. © CPPA-B 1D | AFRICA, digital collage,#2, 2015. © Adalberto Abbate 2D | AFRICA, digital collage, #1, 2015. © Adalberto Abbate 3D | African Portrait #4, 2014. © Adalberto Abbate 4D | To point on pointing or the gesture of showing, #3, 2014. © Cécile Hummel


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1A | There is no king without a costume-I, 2015. © Frida Robles 2A | Untitled, 2015. © Gregorio Méndez 3A | Department of Forestry comes to the help of Likombe villagers, killing two elephants, 1968. GS_1362. © CPPA-B 4A | Two elephants killed, 1968. NEE_0927. © CPPA-B 1B | There is no king without a costume-II, 2015. © Frida Robles 2B | There is no king without a costume-III, 2015. © Frida Robles 3B | Energetic tone, 2015. © Mustafa Saeed 4B | Untitled, 2015. © Mustafa Saeed

1C | The independence celebration of the Cameroon Republic, Yaoundé, 1960. NEG_7789. © CPPA-B 2C | Fantôme, 2015. © Amalia Rama 3C | Killer cell, 2015. © Amalia Rama 4C | Et maintenant?, 2015. © Amalia Rama 1D | Untitled #2, 2015. © Carolle Benitah 2D | Untitled #3, 2015. © Carolle Benitah 3D | Untitled #1, 2015. © Carolle Benitah 4D | Untitled #1, 2015. © Diogo Bento


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1A | Youth Day celebration. Decorations ceremony by Vice-president S.T. Muna, 1969. NEE_1689. © CPPA-B 2A | Premier’s tour Southern Cameroons, 1959. NEE_7399. © CPPA-B 3A | Untitled #2, 2015. © Diogo Bento 4A | Untitled #3, 2015. © Diogo Bento 1B | 7th Guinness for Power, Mount Cameroon Race, 1975. NGT_9133. © CPPA-B

1C | Views of Bamenda and Mamfe, 1970. NEE_2887. © CPPA-B 2C | Orenda II, 2015. © Thaís Medina 3C | Orenda III, 2015. © Thaís Medina 4C | Indépendance - Welcome - We are happy to receive you, 2014. © Erika Nimis 1D | Untitled, from the series: The Attempts of Inclusion, 2015. © Ray Piwi

2B | Orenda I, 2015. © Thaís Medina

2D | No strings attached, from the series: The Attempts of Inclusion, 2015. © Ray Piwi

3B | Republic Day activities, Nigerian consulate, 1963. NEG_5767. © CPPA-B

3D | Passing glance, from the series: The Attempts of Inclusion, 2015. © Ray Piwi

4B | Youth Day activities in Buea, 1977. NGT_0285. © CPPA-B

4D | To point on pointing or the gesture of showing n1, 2014. © Cécile Hummel


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1A | To point on pointing or the gesture of showing n2, 2014. © Cécile Hummel

1C | Send-off Ms. Muna at Buea Mountain Club, 1961. NEG_7676. © CPPA-B

2A | From series « Sleeping with Books », 2015. © Caecilia Tripp

2C | NSA meets CPPA - Live Performance at CCF-Douala, 2015. © Maite Cajaraville, Gisle Frøysland and students

3A | We dey dey I, 2015. © Elsa Mbali 4A | We dey dey II, 2015. © Elsa Mbali 1B | Contrato social 1, 2015. © Raquel Bravo 2B | Presentation of diplomas 5th course of Pan African Institute for Development, 1974. NGT_8770. © CPPA-B 3B | Contrato social 2, 2015. © Raquel Bravo 4B | NSA meets CPPA, Form video vimeo.com/136766193, 2014. © Maite Cajaraville and Gisle Frøysland

3C | NSA meets CPPA - Live Performance at CCF-Douala, 2015. © Maite Cajaraville, Gisle Frøysland and students 4C | NSA meets CPPA - Live Performance, 2015. © Maite Cajaraville, Gisle Frøysland and students 1D | NSA meets CPPA - Live Performance, 2015. © Maite Cajaraville, Gisle Frøysland and students 2D | The De-Construction/ReConstruction of Memory, 2015. © Anne Gregory and Pasçale Obolo 3D | The De-Construction/ReConstruction of Memory, detail, 2015. © Anne Gregory and Pasçale Obolo 4D | President Ahidjo reception at Mountain Hotel Buea, 1961. NEG_6702. © CPPA-B


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1A | Top contenders for fashion honours, 2015. © Rosario Mazuela

1C | Mrs. Ngwana 21st birthday’s party, 1965. NEE_5278. © CPPA-B

2A | Funeral of Late David M. Endeley in Buea, 1985. NGT_3737. © CPPA-B

2C | Southern Cameroons Police College, Likomba, 1960. NEG_5669. © CPPA-B

3A | Reinterpretive Inception NGT_3737, 2015. © Vincent Bezuidenhout

3C | Superpositions_II, 2015. © Fabien Lapouge

4A | Reinterpretive Inception NGT_3312, 2015. © Vincent Bezuidenhout

4C | Untitled, 2015. © Justine Gaga and Dunja Herzog

1B | Edition of the Mount Cameroon Race, Buea Stadium, 1984. NGT_3312. © CPPA-B

1D | Ellas-2, 2015. © Xavier Aguirre

2B | Memorial service of Late EML Endeley, 1988. NGT_3888. © CPPA-B 3B | Ellas-1, 2015. © Xavier Aguirre 4B | Superpositions_I, 2015. © Fabien Lapouge

2D | Queer-ing the archive I, 2015. © Zara Julius 3D | Intercollege Sports Finals at GTTC Kumba, 1961. NEG_6609. © CPPA-B 4D | Queer-ing the archive II, 2015. © Zara Julius


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1A | Sangmelima WCNU team, 1971. NGT_5672. © CPPA-B 2A | Portrait of Miss Nkeke, 1971. NGT_5374. © CPPA-B 3A | Queer-ing the archive III, 2015. © Zara Julius


ARTISTS


ADALBERTO ABBATE

Adalberto Abbate (1975, Palermo, Italy) lives and works in Palermo and Paris. His work ranges from sculpture to photography, as well as street and installation art, but in all its forms is political. He exhibited his work in several international art centres such as Musée Historique et des Porcelaines de Nyon, Museo Mart di Rovereto, Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Palermo, Museum für Kommunikation (Bern), Centre Pompidou Parigi, etc. adalbertoabbate.com

AMALIA RAMANANKIRAHINA

Amalia Ramanankirahina is a FrenchMalagasy artist who works in a variety of media, including painting, ink, photography, and installation. She holds a Master Degree in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, from the University Paris I, Panthéon la Sorbonne. She has widely published, and lectured at institutions such as the University of Paris I, School of Graphics Research as well as exhibited at the 9th and 10th Dak’Art Biennale. rama-lesite.com

ANNE GREGORY

Anne Gregory (USA) graduated from Duke University with degrees in English and Art. She studied British Literature at Oxford University and Ceramics at Penland. Anne received the Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artists Grant, which made it possible for her to take part in an international Artist Residency in Morocco and the Casablanca Biennial. She currently lives in Durham, North Carolina. annegregorypainting.com

CAECILIA TRIPP

Caecilia Tripp (Germany) is an artist, filmmaker & researcher. She has received several international grants representing a body of film and video installations, performance and photographic works from 1999 up to now. Her “The Making of Americans” (2004) won an award for the best experimental film at Cinema Paradise, Hawaii / USA. It has screened at several international festivals and museum venues. caeciliatripp.com

CAROLLE BENITAH

Born 1965 in Casablanca (Morocco), Carolle Benitah today lives in Marseille, France. After graduating from the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne (Paris, France), Carolle Benitah worked as a fashion designer for ten years before she decided to study photography in 2001. Her recent exhibitions include Festival de la Luz, Buenos Aires; Festival Pingyao, China; and Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, Ireland. facebook.com/carolle.benitah

CÉCILE HUMMEL

Cécile Hummel (1962, Gottlieben, Switzerland), lives in Basel. She holds a degree of the Graduate School of Visual Arts and Design Basel, Switzerland. She held residences in Cairo, Berlin and Montreal and exhibits in Switzerland and abroad. She teaches at the Bern University of Arts. cecilehummel.ch


DIOGO BENTO

Diogo Bento, born in 1984, lives and works in Mindelo, Cape Verde. He is a landscape architect-turnedphotographer and a founding member of the Associação Olho-de-gente (AOJE), an organization dedicated to the promotion of photography in Cape Verde. He is the driving force behind the Cabo Verde International Photography Festival (FIFCV). His personal work addresses issues related to the archive, memory and landscape. diogobento.com

DUNJA HERZOG

Dunja Herzog (1976, Basel, Switzerland), lives and works in Basel and Berlin. After graduating at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst in Basel, she obtained a MA at the Glasgow School of Art in 2012. Dunja Herzog realizes sculptures and installations by assembling industrial materials with objects found in places that belong to her everyday life. dunjaherzog.org

ELSA M’BALA

Elsa M’bala (1988, Yaoundé). Elsa M’bala is an educator and musician born in Yaoundé and raised in Germany and Cameroon. As a self-taught singer/songwriter, multi-linguist and educator she is currently working on various projects, one being a theater piece, Martin Ambara’s, Black Django. facebook.com/mbala.anaba

ÉRIKA NIMIS

Érika Nimis (France, Canada) is an Associate Professor in Art History at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). She specializes in the history of photography in West Africa and has published three books and many articles on the subject. She collaborates with Africultures, where she co-edited a special issue entitled “African Perspectives on Photography” (2012) with Marian Nur Goni (EHESS, Paris), with whom she also co-writes the blog FOTOTA, dedicated to research on photography in Africa. fotota.hypotheses.org

FABIEN LAPOUGE

Fabien Lapouge (France) is a photographer who has been working for several years in emergency and humanitarian aid programs. fabienlapougephotography.org

FRIDA ROBLES

Frida Robles (1985, Mexico City) is a text-based artist currently living in Mexico City. She is particularly interested on how poetry can reside outside the page, with the understanding that poetry can be a powerful means of social and personal conscience She holds a Bachelor Degree in History from the Iberoamericana University Mexico and Master Degree from the University of Applied Arts Vienna. fridarobles.wordpress.com


GISLE FRØYSLAND

Gisle Frøysland (1961, Bergen, Norway), studied computer science, information science, TV production and arts in Bergen. Since the early 80s he has been working as a musician, VJ and visual artist. He is a founding member of BEK - the Bergen Centre for Electronic Art and initiator/director of the Piksel festival for free technologies in artistic practice. gislefroysland.com

JUSTINE GAGA

Justine Gaga (1974, Douala, Cameroon), is a sculptor and video artist. She lives in Bonendale, where she has been collaborating with her mentor Goddy Leye at the ArtBakery for many years. Justine Gaga exhibits her work internationally. In 2014, she participated in Dak’Art Biennale. Justine Gaga has worked with Dunja Herzog in several projects in Cameroon. justinegaga.jimdo.com

GREGORIO MENDEZ

Gregorio Méndez (1960, Burgos, Spain), is a painter, video artist and theatre designer. gregoriomendez.com

HILLIE DE ROOIJ

Hillie de Rooij (1987, Arnhem, Netherlands), lives and works in Amsterdam. In 2010 she graduated from the Photography department at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Since then she has been working as a photographer. In her work she concentrates on her fascination of how our image and knowledge about the world is influenced by the images we see in the different media. www.hilliederooij.com

MAITE CAJARAVILLE

Maite Cajaraville (1967, Madrid, Spain) is a multidisciplinary artist working with new technologies and new media. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Contemporary Art Theory and Practice from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid as well as a degree in Computing. Maite Cajaraville is currently teaching “Media Art” at the Universidad Camilo Jose Cela in Madrid and works with the Bergen Piksel festival for free technologies in artistic practice. maitecajaraville.org

MUSTAFA SAEED

Mustafa Saeed Mustafa Saeed is a self-taught visual artist and documentary photographer born in Somalia. His work marries poetic symbolism with socio-political critique to explore issues of war, conflict and environment. He is based in Hargeisa (Somaliland) and participated in various local and international exhibitions. arabdocphotography.org/project/ division-multiplied


PASCALE OBOLO

Pascale Obolo (1967, Yaoundé, Cameroon) is an artist and filmmaker. She studied at the Ecole du Conservatoire Libre du Cinema Français. Pascale Obolo is a co-founder of AFRIKADAA, a contemporary art magazine and an intellectual and artistic laboratory that aims to create a dynamic forum for Africa and the African diaspora. facebook.com/pascale.obolo

RAQUEL BRAVO IGLESIAS

Raquel Bravo Iglesias is a Spanish photographer based in Madrid. bravocapitan.tumblr.com

RAY PIWI OCHIENG

Ray Piwi Ochieng, was born in Nairobi, Kenya, where he lives today. He studied photography at the Market Photo Workshop in South Africa. His reportages often shed light on untold personal narratives to evoke global social and economic shifts. In 2016 he was the John Muafangejo Art Centre (JMAC, Namibia) artist in residency. facebook.com/ray.blount.92

ROSARIO MAZUELA

Born in Burgos, Spain, Rosario Mazuela has worked for 9 years in several countries in Africa. She holds a Master Degree in photography from the Centro Internacional de Fotografía y Cine, Madrid (EFTI) and is the co-founder of African Photography Initiatives. african-photography-initiatives.org

SPRING ULMER

Spring Ulmer (USA) is an Assistant Professor at the English faculty at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. facebook.com/spring.ulmer

THAÍS MEDINA

Thaís Medina (1978, Brazil) has spent the last sixteen years researching and working on conceptualphotographic documentation about visual representations that are generated from the Afro-Brazilian religious practices, their creeds and superstitions. Thaís has been developing and exhibiting her projects in Brazil and abroad. thaismedina.com


VINCENT BEZUIDENHOUT

Vincent Bezuidenhout (1978, Bloemfontein, South Africa). He holds a Master Degree in Fine Art from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. Bezuidenhout is a Tierney Fellow and was part of the 2013/14 Photoglobal Programme at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He currently lives and works in Cape Town and New York City. vincentbezuidenhout.com

XAVIER AGUIRRE PALACIOS

Xavier Aguirre Palacios (1987, Ciudad de México). Formed as a historian and photographer he is photo critical and curator. facebook.com/el.abuelo.5

ZARA JULIUS

Zara Julius (1992, Johannesburg, South Africa) is a freelance social researcher and visual-storyteller who explores the intersection of ethnography and visual art in the act of ‘witnessing’. With a background in social anthropology and photography, her primary focus has been the urban metropolis and the various forms of syncretic religions that have emerged in contexts of urban migration in South Africa. zarajulius.com


This book is dedicated to Emmanuel M. Mbwaye, who opened the Southern Cameroons Photographic Section of the Ministry of Culture and Information in 1955 and supported the Press Photo Archives until his death in 2016.


african-photography-initiatives.org AFRICAN PHOTOGRAPHY INITIATIVES | 2016

Multiple Gazes of a Country’s Photographed Past  

The works presented in Multiple Gazes of a Country’s Photographed Past are based on the photo material kept in the Press Photo Archives Buea...

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