Parution – Photography and African Futures

Visual Studies, 2018, Volume 33, Issue 1

Guest Editors: Darren Newbury and Richard Vokes

« Our aim in putting together this special issue has been to develop a new line of enquiry in the engagement with photographic archives and practices across Africa and its diaspora. Considerable scholarly attention has been paid to the many ways in which, especially during the early history of the medium, photography served to establish visually the idea of African pastness, in contrast to European modernity. Less attention, however, has been given to photography as a medium for the construction and imagination of African futures. And where scholarship has engaged with the medium’s role in imagining futures, it has tended to concentrate on the photographic studio as a space of individual self-fashioning. Important as this work is, our contention is that the visual construction of photographic futures has been a feature of numerous photographic projects associated not only with modern selfhood but also with colonial development, anti-colonial struggle and post-independence nation building, as well as more recent national development planning. This issue features several cases drawn from the era of high modernisation, decolonisation and post-colonial independence, a period in which the visual presentation of African futures was particularly prominent, contrasted with the more recent resurgence of photographic futurisms associated with the ‘digital revolution’. No doubt, there is further work to be done to elaborate and fill out the framework we have roughly sketched here, but we hope that the issue offers some productive starting points. »

(Richard Vokes & Darren Newbury, from the Editorial, p. 8)

Table of contents:

Photography and African futures, par Richard Vokes & Darren Newbury, pp. 1-10.

Photography, exhibitions and embodied futures in colonial Uganda, 1908–1960, par Richard Vokes, pp. 11-27.

Views of continuity and change: the Press Photo Archives in Buea, Cameroon, par Jürg Schneider, pp. 28-40.

‘Window on the West Indies’: the photographic imagination of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, par Darren Newbury, pp. 41-56.

Priya Ramrakha’s lost futures: a pan-African archive, par Erin Haney, pp. 57-69.

Untitled futures from history’s edge by José Cabral, par Drew Thompson, pp. 70-83.

Mirror images: mediated sociality and the presence of the future, par Till Förster, pp. 84-97.

Decolonisation is now: photography and student-social movements in South Africa, par Kylie Thomas, pp. 98-110.

 


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