The movement of photographic practices from the African coastal cities to the continent's rural areas in the interior not only initiated processes of appropriation and adaptation to specific rural contexts, but opened up new imaginaries and new types of entanglements of the urban and the rural.
Studies on photography in Africa have mainly focused on the practices in coastal areas and urban settings, the very sites where photography was first introduced. Along these inquiries contemporary African photographers mostly explore the political, social and cultural dynamics of the capitals they live in, a stance that stands in stark contrast with Western mainstream representations of Africa highlighting villages, natural landscapes or "wild" animals.
But lines are never so clear-cut and this panel precisely seeks to investigate the complex entanglements of the urban and the rural in colonial and post-colonial Africa as they appear in photographs and photographers' practices or strategies.
An essential topic of the historiography of photography in Africa is the movement of photographic practices from the coastal cities to the continent's rural areas in the interior. This not only initiated processes of appropriation and adaptation to specific rural contexts, but opened up new imaginaries and new types of entanglements of the urban and the rural.
Special attention will be granted to papers scrutinizing this historical movements but proposals may also include:
- studies on specific professional careers/bodies of work which took/take place in rural settings (or back and forth urban and rural ones) and their respective aesthetics;
- studies on material and temporal aspects: trajectories of photographs and photographers (itinerant/seasonal practices) or equipment/technologies underlying these entanglements;
- studies on historical or contemporary projects connecting the two settings (i.e. state-sponsored/administrative initiatives, touring exhibitions created in urban settings and brought to remote areas, etc.).