Portraiture and Photography in Africa

Portraiture and Photography in Africa

Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/24/2013
Format: Paperback 151 color illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-00860-2
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Beautifully illustrated, Portrait Photography in Africa offers new interpretations of the cultural and historical roles of photography in Africa. Twelve leading scholars look at early photographs, important photographers’ studios, the uses of portraiture in the 19th century, and the current passion for portraits in Africa. They review a variety of topics, including what defines a common culture of photography, the social and political implications of changing technologies for portraiture, and the lasting effects of culture on the idea of the person depicted in the photographic image.

Author Bio

Elisabeth L. Cameron is Associate Professor and the Patricia and Rowland Rebele Endowed Chair in the History of Art and Visual Culture, Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California, Santa Cruz.

John Peffer is Associate Professor of Art History at Ramapo College.


“The field of African photography has grown exponentially in recent years. Readers who think they already know a lot about either portraiture or photography will be pleasantly surprised to discover how much more there is to learn about them both.”
 — Martha Anderson, Alfred University

“A timely contribution to the rapidly expanding field of African photography that offers a variety of innovative perspectives on African photographic portraiture by leading voices in the field as well as newcomers to it.”
 — Lisa Aronson, Skidmore College

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Table of Contents

Foreword \ Raoul Birnbaum

Introduction: The Study of Photographic Portraiture in Africa \ John Peffer

Part 1. Exchange
1. Portrait Photography: A Visual Currency in the Atlantic Visualscape \ Jürg Schneider
2. Lutterodt Family Studios and the Changing Face of Early Portrait Photographs from the Gold Coast \ Erin Haney
3. Yoruba Studio Photographers in Francophone West Africa \ Érika Nimis
4. The Fieldworker and the Portrait: The Social Relations of Photography \ Elisabeth L. Cameron

Part 2. Social Lives
5. "A Photograph Steals the Soul": The History of an Idea \ Z. S. Strother
6. The Past in the Present: Photographic Portraiture and the Evocation of Multiple Histories in the Bamum Kingdom of Cameroon \ Christraud M. Geary
7. Mombasa on Display: Photography and the Formation of an Urban Public, from the 1940s Onward \ Isolde Brielmaier
8. Portrait Photography in a Postcolonial Age: How Beauty Tells the Truth \ Liam Buckley

Part 3. Traditions
9. Likeness or Not: Musings on Portraiture in Canonical African Art and Its Implications for African Portrait Photography \ Jean Borgatti
10. Ako-graphy: Owo Portraits \ Rowland Abiodun
11. Visual Griots: Identity, Aesthetics, and the Social Roles of Portrait Photographers in Mali \ Candace M. Keller
12. The Intermediality of Portraiture in Northern Côte d'Ivoire \ Till Förster


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