Validating Visual Heritage in Africa: Historical Photographs and the Role of the ‘Archive’, Buea, Cameroon, 27-29 January 2015

From 2013 until today African Photography Initiatives has been engaged in the project Cameroon Photo Press Archives. Protection, Conservation, Access which included the conservation and partial digitization of the Buea Press Photo Archives (BPPA) (holding a total of approximately 100.000 negatives and 14.000 groundsheet-pages), teaching and research activities in Switzerland and Cameroon as well as the preparation of exhibitions, talks, a website and several publications. The BPPA’s images cover major political, social and cultural events in Cameroon’s Anglophone zone during the period from 1955 to about 1995. The project, however, not only dealt with the Buea Press Photo Archive’s content as such but also very much with the repository itself as an institution located at the crossroads of political, social and cultural developments and dynamics.
This conference constitutes the transitional stage between concluding the project and exposing it to the public. More broadly, it provides a stepping stone for renewed involvement with a number of burning issues concerning archives, photographs and their users in Cameroon. It engages scholars, media professionals and artists from Cameroon, Africa, and abroad on a platform to discuss practical, methodological and theoretical questions that arise in critically dealing with photographs and their contexts in distinct fields of activity, disciplines and archival settings. In this way, the event will not simply serve to promote the Buea Press Photo Archives in a narrowly conceived manner, but instead attempt to place the project within a broader framework of the “circulation of knowledge”.

Pages de Brochure Conference programme_1

Conference programme

Tuesday, 27 January
9:00 -10:30 opening of conference, welcome speech and greetings: Rosette Muma Achu Bih, Southwest Regional Delegate for Communication; H.E. Dr. Claude Altermatt, Swiss Ambassador to Cameroon.
10:30-11:30 introduction: Jürg Schneider, Rosario Mazuela, Guy Thomas.
11:30-12:30 keynote address: Professor Verkijika Fanso, Yaoundé.
12:30-13:00 Uwe Jung (Goethe Institut Yaoundé): 130 Years of German photography in Cameroon: Holdings of the Bundesarchiv.
13:00-14:00 lunch
14:00-15:00
Rosemary Shafack (Lecturer/University Librarian, Faculty of Education, University of Buea): The role of graphics in information usage: The example of photographs.
Margaret Fombe (TV producer-director, CAMEROON RADIO TELEVISION (CRTV): The role of archives in the production of historical documentaries for mass media.
15:00-15:30 coffee break
15:30-16:30
Valentine Nyamndon (Catholic University of Cameroon, Bamenda): Album/photo collections: A gauge of network of social relationship in Cameroon.
Caroline Authaler (University of Düsseldorf, Germany): Appropriating and modernizing Cameroon’s plantations visually: “Kamerun-Filme” by Paul Lieberenz, 1925-1938.
16:30-17:00 wrap-up discussion and information
18:00-20:00 Screening of German documentaries at CURELF. In collaboration with the Goethe Institut Yaoundé.

Wednesday, 28 January
9:00 -10:30
Hlengiwe Dlamini (University of Pretoria, SA): The photographs of the makers of Swaziland’s independence constitution and the writing of Swaziland’s constitutional history.
Erika Nimis (Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada): Gardiennes d’images: An intimate vision of the Algerian revolution.
Spring Ulmer (West Chester University of Pennsylvania, USA): Missing from Rwandan archives.
10:30-11:00 coffee break
11:00-13:00
Gabriele Mohale (University of the Witwatersrand, SA): Colonial dilemmas: The Barnett collection of photographs.
Tebogo George Mahashe (University of Cape Town, SA): A Personal take, or stuck in the middle/side and going nowhere: An attempt at imagining a methodology for engaging colonial photographic archives, histories and subjectivities.
Frida Robles Ponce (University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria): For a new archiving act? Video presentation.
Andrea Stultiens (Initiator HIPUganda / Leiden University, NL): “All the tricks”. A story of photojournalistic practice in East Africa, featuring two men and one photograph.
13:00-14:00 lunch
14:00-16:30 Visit of the National and Press Photo Archives Buea. Presentations by Primus Forgwe and Ebong Fidelis.
18:00-20:00 Screening of German documentaries at CURELF;
in collaboration with the Goethe Institut Yaoundé.

Thursday, 29 January
9:00 -10:30
Julius Che Tita & Ali Ngwe Pechu (University of Buea): Press Photo
Archives as the origin of the three periods of photojournalism in Cameroon.
Elvis Nkome Ngome & Rose Frii-Anjoh (University of Buea): Reflections on early missionary and colonial photos in Bakossiland:
A critical analysis of photos about personalities, infrastructures and architecture before and after colonial rule.
Blandine Guteh Babey (Advanced School of Mass Communication (ASMAC), University of Yaoundé II): Concepts and principles of records management and archive administration.
10:30-11:00 coffee break
11:00-12:30
Paul Weinberg (Senior curator, visual archives, University of Capetown Libraries, SA): In search of South African photographic archives. A question of repatriation or digging in your own back yard?
Soiduate Ogoye Atanga (University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria): Constructing memory: The archive and historical photographs as agencies of collective memory.
Dan Ekongwe (Research Head, Government Relations/Protocol PAID-WA, Buea): The bridge: memorial continuum Kumba – Cameroon.
12:30-13:30 lunch
13:30-14:30
Doreen Binain Mbain (Catholic University of Cameroon, Bamenda): Photography and historical research in Cameroon historiography, 1972-1990.
Walter Nkwi (University of Buea): Returned labour migrants viewed photographs in Cameroon western Grassfields c. 1930s-1960s.
14:30-15:00 coffee break
15:00-16:00 closing session
18:00-20:00 Screening of German documentaries at CURELF; in collaboration with the Goethe Institut Yaoundé.

Pour lire le programme complet du colloque, rendez-vous sur le site d’African Photography Initiatives, organisateur de l’événement.

 


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