Photography exhibition Contemporary and Historical African Photography in Dialogue


The exhibition at the Photobastei in Zurich will present a dialogue between 13 works from winners of the CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography and historical photographs from the African Photography Initiatives archives. 150 photographs from eleven countries will be presented.

The exhibition at the Photobastei in Zurich featuring works from Edition POPCAP will comprise 13 works from winners of the CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography.The photographic series will be complemented and counteracted by historical photographic works from the archives of African Photography Initiatives, provoking exciting dialogues between images and groups of work, and enabling the dismantling of the standard image of Africa. The exhibition will present approximately 150 works from Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Kenya, Cameroon, Italy, Tunisia, Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Egypt and Burundi.

The selection of photographs accompanying the CAP Prize winners’ works can be seen as a translation system within a visual tradition that is neither linear, mandatory nor directly consistent. The historical photographs engage in a dialogue with the images, reflect them, refer to particular elements within them, react to an atmosphere that characterises an entire photographic series, and are united with them in terms of meaning and purpose. Several of these dialogues resulted from an intuitive process, others from theoretical, intellectual reflection.

All historical photographs were taken by African photographers and come from the African Photography Initiatives (APhI) collections and the website, which is run by APhI. They cover a time period of more than a hundred years; the oldest photographs were taken in the 1880s, the most recent in the 1990s. Thus these historical photographs not only reflect cultural and political changes, but also those profound technical and cultural developments that shaped photography and its practice during this time period.

The exhibited works

The exhibited photographs are from: Thom Pierce, Great Britain | Julia Runge, Germany | Filipe Branquinho, Mozambique | Tahir Carl Karmali, Kenya | Zied Ben Romdhane, Tunisia | Romaric Tisserand, France | Ilan Godfrey, South Africa | Léonard Pongo, Belgium | Dillon Marsh, South Africa | Graeme Williams, South Africa | Guillaume Bonn, France | Nabil Boutros, France | Paolo Patrizi, Italy | Jean Depara, Democratic Republic of the Congo | Zagabe Mugema, Democratic Republic of the Congo | Thaddeus Nokuba, Cameroon | Emmanuel Mbwaye, Cameroon


Sihlquai 125
8005 Zürich – Switzerland

2 December 2016 until 22 January 2017


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