Monday, June 15, 2009

Three relevant links on African photography

On Assignment: Hard Lessons in Somalia
By Michael Kamber

I learned more about Somalia through this list of photography tips from this New York Times photographer than from most feature articles on the region. Note on anarchy:
In other places, clans or religious groups have created islands of stability and progress. We passed through towns where the residents had built schools, hospitals and even a library, with no help from any central authority.
How I take pictures
by Scarlett Lion
aka Glenna Gordon

Instructions for not so casual picture taking. Note on why:
It’s also important for me to explain why I want to take the photo. There’s certainly a misconception that photographers make tons of money selling photos of Africans abroad. I tell people I don’t make money off of the majority of my images – which is 100 percent true – and that I’m here to take a picture to tell a story. In Liberia, I tell people that I want to share photos with the outside world to show that Liberia is no longer at war, that people are living their lives, that things are getting better. This appeals to a lot of people who innately understand how misunderstood they are.
Africa the 'land of bones', says Oprah
by Verashni Pillay

South African journalist, and my good friend, asks if the Oprah-penned introduction to this photo book is a joke?
But no, oh no. The Queen of chat and purveyor of pseudoscience medicinal quackery is as ever all the more terrifying because she's sincere. She really does take herself so seriously that she would dedicate 80% of the foreword to an amazing photographer's work with the most self-indulgent and vainglorious crap - and throw him a bone of congratulations at the end for "crystallizing" her connection. Er, actually the book is a treasure box of gorgeous images from across the continent - not a tribute to your confused sense of identity.

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