Accepted paper:

African photography festivals: How to reconsider photographic representations in Africa


Vanessa Peterson (Tate Modern)

Paper short abstract:

Photography festivals are concentrated in Europe & America, thus preventing engagement by practitioners away from centres of production. In recent times, photography festivals in Africa are changing this discourse, from Accra to Lagos to Addis Ababa. I would like to consider what that means today.

Paper long abstract:

Over the past 20 years, there has been a marked increase in photography festivals taking place on the African continent, rather than Europe or America. I would like to consider what this means for African photographers, who are often working against the grain in terms of reclaiming narratives. African photographers, curators and editors are working alongside in ways which restore the balance of power back to those who have traditionally lacked control of their stories, due to lack of access, travel, high financial costs. I will analyse the rise of three photography festivals: Lagos Photo Festival, Addis Foto Fest and most recently the first edition of Ghana's first photography festival Nuku Photo Festival, to further understand how these institutions are disrupting and altering the photographic landscape not just in Africa, but globally.

panel Art03
Diversifying the visual library: photographic presentations and representations of the African continent