The photographers of Everyday Africa seek to transcend longstanding stereotypical views of the continent by using Instagram to share moments of daily life with a wide audience in real time. Our work confronts the image of Africa’s past even as it documents the present and looks toward the future.
This is, on the surface, a simple concept. But it has deep impact: for centuries Africa has been imagined falsely — a place of the poor or the exotic, but with no middle ground — and the repercussions of this reverberate in headlines worldwide. Everyday Africa serves to redirect focus onto that which is most constant and most often ignored: the familiar. We seek beauty in the mundane.
We know — in fact, we embrace — that the term “everyday” is loaded.
Whose view represents reality? Which “everyday” is valid? The answer is found in an acceptance of photography’s limitations, its partial truths. We can’t pretend that this is a holistic depiction of a continent; the best we can do with these social media tools is to create a barrage, a never-ending stream of images that announces normalcy in many forms.
We invite you to record your reactions to these photographs. Just as Instagram viewers comment on the images, registering their approval or disapproval, expressing the many emotions a photograph may bring up, we invite you to do the same, writing your own commentary underneath each image.
Photographers: Allison Shelley, Andrew Esiebo, Andrew Esiebo, Charley Shoemaker, Christina Rizk, Daouda Corera,Edward Echwalu, Glenna Gordon, Holly Pickett, Idil Ibrahim, Jane Hahn, Laura El-Tantawy, Nana Kofi Acquah, Nichole Sobecki, Peter DiCampo, Tom Saater, Yagazie Emezie