African Lens: Curated by Aaron Yeboah
African Lens is a curated collection of photography from eight African photographers that shows Africa from a completely different lens. Historically the conversation of African culture, status quo, and lifestyle has been limited to poverty, war, illiteracy, and misery. Images that defy those narrative silently fade into obscurity or are labelled as "success" stories or anomalies. However, if a picture is worth a thousands words then each of the images featured in African Lens have so much more to tell us about a continent that is unfairly misrepresented. The photographs speak of beauty, poise, and perseverance. This visual portfolio shows us a vibrant culture laced with afrobeat. It draws us into portraits of individuals that are more than just a single narrative.
Aaron Yeboah, curator and creator of African Lens, does a fantastic job of pairing images, in purposeful sequences, that lays out a narrative that goes beyond the initial message of each piece. The photography, both in color and in black and white, are raw, whispering secrets about a familiar yet unfamiliar place. This is definitely not the same Africa you have been exposed to. Yeboah's collection also incorporates photographers from the Diasporas telling their story in a way that is unique to them. African Lens doesn't just present Africa in a better light, it praises and elevates African photographers whose work may otherwise be lost in the vacuum.
Photographers to Watch
One of our favorite photographers in the series, TJ Letsa, sneaks us into the lives of the African people, specifically African women. A view that is unadulterated and full of detail, full of life. In both color and black and white, we are allowed a glimpse a quiet universe captured only by the camera that tells an unfiltered, multi-layered story of each of the subjects. The activities captured may be mundane but the images are powerful. Life in Africa is brimming with joy and peace but it is also stylish!
Adeoti's Hair Project is about an appreciation of the African crown. As the natural hair movement continues to gain momentum, it feels fitting to create this ode to the natural hair through photography. For Adeoti, this is about helping women, and men, love what comes naturally. It is a series filled with purpose.
Raheem's photography of urban Nigeria pays homage to the style and context of the Fela Kuti days. It captures living in a way that is quintessentially Nigerian, something that may terrify most westerners. The photographs do not try to make the country accessible to outsider but stays true to its heritage by using color and soft focus to present a reality that native Nigerians are familiar with and find joy in. In essence, Raheem captures happiness in a place where most assume misery lies.
Digital Print Available HERE