DYNAMIC AFRICA

African-based news, lifestyle & popular culture platform that brings you stories and information concerning Africa and the African diaspora. Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.


Dynamic Africa is a diverse multimedia platform, which curates global ideas, memes, attitudes and other phenomena that shape popular culture, with both a local and global African perspective.




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Posts tagged "photography"

Everyday People Stories.
Johannesburg, South Africa.

Images by Cedric Nzaka.

Shujaa Misuli by Osborne Macharia.

Shujaa Misuli, meaning ‘muscle warriors’, is a photo project by Kenyan photographer Osborne Macharia that celebrates the diversity, dynamism and accomplishments of Kenyan athletes and sports heroes.

Click for descriptions and names of athletes.

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Test Shots by Rog Walker.

Test Shots is an ongoing series of portraits taken in the studio with photography couple Rog and Bee Walker. Each photograph, taken mostly of their close friends and fellow creatives, is as striking as it is simple.

Opting for a sombre and dark background, coupled with poised and pensive subjects, Walker’s shots manage to maximize on the simplicity of the traditional portrait style by making use of a medium format camera that provides an image quality which, despite the powerful stillness of each individual, vividly brings the details of each photograph to life. This brings out both a sense of strength and vulnerability in each picture, alluding to the intimate two-way dialog between subject and photographer.

"This is the most organic method of communication I have. Photography is the way I speak…It doesn’t get more personal than another human, and that’s what I’m looking to capture, that connection between humanity." - Rog Walker

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lostinurbanism:

Alain Le Garsmeur, Georgia (1983)

Portraits captured on the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa, by Kenyan-born photographer Cedric Nzaka of “Everyday People Stories.

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All Africa, All the time.

21 Icons photography exhibit opening June 16th at MOAD.

Mercedes-Benz presents ‘21 Icons – Portrait of a Nation’, opening at the Museum of African Design in the Maboneng Precinct on Youth Day, 16 June. The exhibition runs to 17 August and features the work of award-winning photographer Adrian Steirn who, for several years, has photographed some of South Africa’s most inspiring icons.

Based in Cape Town, Australian-born Steirn was inspired to create this project by the many people who have contributed to the success story that is South Africa today.

21 Icons South Africa celebrates the lives of 21 extraordinary South Africans who have captured the global imagination with their dignity, humanity, hard work and selfless struggle for a better world.

In Photos: “Family Album” by Mamaki Rakotsoana.

This series of images by South African photographer Mamaki Rakotsoana is a project in which she took her deceased father’s photographs and reproduced them in a manner that investigates her relationship to him, as well as his relationship to the women in his life.

ali-alshalali:

OLD  Sudanese  

(via ohyeahsudan)

Portraits of elderly people taken in Guinea-Bissau by Ernst Schade.

Sandwiched between Senegal to the north and Guinea to the south, Guinea-Bissau is a West African coastal country that was once part of two great civilizations - the Kingdom of Gabu and the Mali Empire. However, with the onset of European encroachment in the area, parts of the country began to fall under Portuguese rule as colonialism gained ground from the 16th century onwards.

It wouldn’t be until  1973 that Guinea-Bissau’s independence wouldbe declared on 24 September, officially recognized on 10 September 1974. Luís Cabral, brother of Amílcar and co-founder of PAIGC, was appointed the first President of Guinea-Bissau.

These portraits were taken between 2006-2013 by Ernst Schade, a Dutch self-taught photographer. Descriptions can be seen by clicking the photographs.

I’ve never believed in the beauty of melanin being an age-enricher as much as I have after seeing these portraits.

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All Africa, All the time.

In Photos: “Occupations” by Filipe Branquinho.

As the title suggests, in his on-going series taken around his hometown of Maputo, Mozambique, the Lusophone country’s capital city, visual artist Filipe Branquinho, a formally trained architect, documents the livelihoods of his fellow citizens at their place of work. Branquinho began the project in 2011 with the objective to “ photograph the urban working people in their environments and to move away from the cliché of rural Africa”, and discovering how people in this city that had seen so much violence and turmoil in the years past occupied their time and related to the environment around them.

Although having to hone his own skills and develop both a technical and personal style and approach to the medium, Branquinho isn’t new to the world of photography. His father was a journalist and friend to other prominent Mozambican photographers of the mid-late 20th century such as Ricardo Rangel, Kok Nam and José Cabral.

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All Africa, All the time.

In Photos: “A Gorean Summer” by Fabrice Monteiro.

The usual photographs I’ve become accustomed to seeing of Goree Island are usually related to the island’s historic past as a port and base for European traders. These black-and-white images by Belgian-Beninese photographer Fabrice Monteiro stand in stark contrast to the colourful yet still and scenic landscapes that often make Goree island seem empty and uninhabited. A Gorean Summer is based on both the beaches of Goree, Dakar and other surrounding beaches near Senegal’s capital.

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All Africa, All the time.

DYNAMIC AFRICANS: Senegal with Amy Sall.

Amy Sall is not a hired travel photographer, nor is she a photojournalist on assignment. Yet, her images of her recent trip to Senegal are far more moving, far more real, far richer and possess more authenticity than any embedded journalist could ever attempt to capture. The difference between Amy Sall and other photo amateurs or professionals? Her attachment to Senegal is personal. She’s a first-generation American, born and bred, but culturally, Senegal has never been far away. Additionally, she’s unburdened with the need or pressure to tell a specific kind of story. The narrative was a story to be told along the way, along her path of self-discovery.

For these reasons, and more, I fell in love with her posts on instagram as she visually documented her emotional visit to a place that isn’t quite home, but isn’t a foreign country as well. Through the story she creates with her images, Amy’s photo-documentation illustrates the need for Africans to tell their own stories through any and whatever medium is at their disposal.

Here’s my interview with Amy Sall as we discussed the emotional journey of her multicultural upbringing:

In about five sentences or less, briefly tell us a little about yourself. Who is Amy Sall? How would you introduce and define yourself to those who don’t know you?

I am a 23-year old, first generation Senegalese-American, born and bred in New York City, trying to navigate my life with my best foot forward, while staying true to my values. I think in all aspects of my life, there’s the inherent nexus of integrity, selflessness, and grit. What I do and who I am are intrinsically linked. Currently, I’m a Masters Candidate in Human Rights at Columbia University, focusing on children’s rights and youth issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the past, I’ve worked within a few sectors of fashion where I’ve had experience at Vogue, written for Lurve Magazine, and worked for Rick Owens to name a few.

You’re first generation Senegalese-American, born and raised in the US. What was your experience growing up being a part of two very distinct cultures? 

It was interesting, but not easy, growing up between two cultures. It’s not the easiest experience to sift through because it’s quite layered and muddled with all sorts of intricacies. I can say that there were times where my “Africaness” and my “Americaness” had points of contention. I was born only a year after my parents came to the states, so I grew up in a very culturally Senegalese home. Everything in our home was inherently Senegalese, from the food, to the music, to how daily life was constructed.

However, once I stepped outside my home, I was confronted, daily, with the fact that even though I am, in the literal sense of the word, African-American, I did not fit in with the African-American kids. They saw me as other. They saw me as African. They saw me as a dark African. So, it was difficult to reconcile that tension between two cultures as a child. My being rejected by my classmates (and when you are a child, the approval of your peers means everything) led to the resentment and disavowal of my culture and dark skin.

My childhood in that regard was tricky, and it unfortunately caused some damage during my transition into adolescence. There eventually came a point when I just didn’t care about what people thought, and my parents had a heavy had in getting me to that point. Straddling the line between two cultures became easier, and eventually something I thought less about. The biggest relief was ridding the shame I felt toward my “Africanness” as a child. Being African is absolutely the most beautiful thing to me.

On your blog, you mention that you hadn’t been back to Senegal in ten years. What prompted your visit back home? What was the experience like?

What prompted me to go to Senegal was simply realizing that I no longer had the excuse not to go. The last time I was there, I was 13 or 14. The fact that I was approaching the ten-year mark of not being in Senegal was incredibly important and symbolic to me. I decided that I wouldn’t let another year pass without going to Senegal. The possibility of my grandmother’s dying without a chance to see them again started to weigh heavily on me.

Both my grandfathers died when I was younger. One of them I’ve only seen once, the other I’ve seen twice. I regret that I wasn’t able to get to know my grandfathers. The reasons for the 10- year gap vary, but I will attribute them to the unfortunate ills of migration. It wasn’t always easy for my parents to take my siblings and I to Senegal often. Those opportunities did not always present themselves. It’s a sad realization to know that you can’t go home and see your family as often as you would like to, for reasons beyond your control.

So I decided, now that I’m older, nothing was to stop me from going back home and seeing my family. I wanted to get closer to my family, especially with my grandmothers, and develop a real relationship. I wanted to deepen my sense of self and rediscover my roots. It was also important for me to make this trip so that I could see the socio-economic issues of the country with my own eyes, especially as they pertain to children and youth. Much of my graduate research is centered particularly on Senegal, so being on the ground was necessary for the work I’m doing academically, and aim to do professionally.

During your trip back to Senegal you visually documented your stay there by taking and sharing photos on instagram. Was this something you decided before travelling, or was it done on more of a whim? 

I definitely knew I wanted many photos to have as keepsakes, but there were many times where I didn’t bring a camera with me because I just wanted to truly feel Senegal and be immersed in it. When I did have my camera, all I was trying to do was simply capture the country in the truest way possible. I did not want to glamorize or romanticize Senegal. It is an incredibly beautiful, rich and vibrant country, with beautiful people, however there are very real problems that I felt were not to be excluded.  I wanted to share a holistic view of Senegal, from the colors of Gorée to the talibés begging in the streets.

You’ve been blogging for quite some time now so you’re no stranger to sharing bits and pieces of your life online, something I enjoy doing myself. How important was it for you to share this part of your personal life online? How has the response been?

I like the idea that with the Internet, I can carve a space for myself, curate it however I please, engage in a dialogue, and maybe even teach someone something new. I had no expectations when I posted my photos on social media. I was surprised that they garnered the response that they did. People really took a liking to them. I know absolutely nothing about photography. A country as beautiful as Senegal makes it quite easy to photograph. It made me happy that people were appreciating and enjoying my journey, and were able to take part in it. They were discovering Senegal as I was rediscovering it, so it became this shared experience. 

This trip was personal, but it was one that so many can relate to. I am not the only person that has been away from their home country for so long. I am not the only person that hasn’t seen their aunts and uncles in years, or hasn’t hugged their grandmothers in a long time. As personal as this experience was, there were those who were able to connect to it on varying levels. That is what probably surprised me the most, because I didn’t think sharing my trip through these photos could have that effect. I realize that sharing them was much bigger than me, and it was much bigger than a series of Instagram posts. I am really humbled by that. I don’t care about having a large number of followers because I don’t seek validation through that kind of stuff, but I value when someone can take something positive away from what I have shared, whether on the Internet or in real life.

Would you ever consider compiling and publishing your photographs and experience into a photo-book of some sort?

Working on it!

That’s faboulous! Can’t wait ‘til it’s published. Lastly, what are three words you’d use to describe Senegal?

Vibrant, beautiful, home.

Thank you so much, Amy! 

All images via Amy Sall’s instagram.
Amy Sall’s site.

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All Africa, All the time.

awkwardsituationist:

HERE WE ARE, WE ARE GAY, WE ARE UGANDAN" by tadej žnidarčič

on february 24, 2014, a new anti homosexuality law in uganda took effect, imposing life imprisonment for engaging in homosexual relationships (the death penalty was initially proposed, but was ultimately withdrawn). the bill also makes it a crime for anyone - parent, friend, priest, doctor - not to report homosexual activity to the authorities.

newspapers already out people they suspect, and this is believed to have led to the 2011 murder of david kato, a prominent ugandan gay rights campaigner. that newspaper article included a list of 100 people and their addresses, with the headline “hang them.” in uganda, publicly identifying as gay or being identified as such can result in the loss of a job, arrest, harassment, blackmail, beatings and death.

in 2010, tadej žnidarčič began a series of portraits and interviews with ugandan lgbti activists with the aim of giving voice, if not face, to the members of the community (you can read their individual stories here). due to the precarious situation, they did not want to be identified and were photographed from behind.

but when žnidarčič, a physicist turned photojournalist who has been living in uganda for four years, revisited them in 2013, they had become more empowered, assertive and confident, and were now willing to face the world. to emphasize their transformation, he paired the images together. as one of the photographed said, “here we are. we are gay. we are uganadan.”

Meet the Izikhothane’s - A New Group of Young South Africans Redefining Materialism.

“Izikhothane” is a Zulu word meaning “to lick”, but it has now become street slang for “bragging”. It has its roots in the early days of the movement, which first emerged around 2010, when “izis” would deliberately spill packets of custard, considered a treat by many low income black South Africans, and then ostentatiously lick it off their hands and clothes. They quickly graduated from custard to Johnnie Walker Blue Label and even Moët & Chandon, which they spill rather than drink, as onlookers urge them on.

Such scenes of decadence have outraged some older South Africans. The mayor of Ekurhuleni, an area outside Johannesburg, recently denounced the movement as “abhorrent”.

The izikhothanes are from the generation known as “born frees” – black youths who came into the world after the end of apartheid. Others who cannot afford to imitate them invite them to their parties because of the kudos they bring.
“We’re the Italians,”  Phumi Ntshangase, 20, said, brandishing a tattoo on his left arm where the letters FBI (Full Blooded Italians, because of their penchant for Italian designer labels) were arranged like a designer label; other groups have names such as the Vintages, after expensive alcohol, and the Overspenders.
Competition between them is fierce but not violent. At one recent altercation, the biggest insult seemed to be, “Your T-shirt is faded. Go away with your faded T-shirt – you should not be here.”
It is often parents who finance the izikhothane lifestyle. As Ntshangase swigged beer with some of his friends, his mother passed by. She came over and pressed a new smartphone into his hand. Showing off her own gold tooth, she said proudly, “He loves this lifestyle. He feels he is someone, and that pleases me. We – our generation – never had that feeling. It is good to see him happy.”
“Democracy has gone to their heads,” says Mokone, who shows tourists around the landmarks of Soweto’s apartheid-era struggle. “They think it means you have the right to do anything you want. Many of these kids are at high school, and this movement just shows contempt for the sacrifices their parents and grandparents made.”
His friend Mpho Gesh, a 21-year-old wearing a pink shirt, yellow slacks and matching narrow shiny shoes, explained there was more to the phenomenon than showing off: “Clothes here in the township are how people express themselves. If you can’t afford clothes, you can’t join… All the girls love us and want to roll with us, but we only want those who can also afford the lifestyle.”
The izikhothanes’ role model is the playboy businessman Kenny Kunene, known as the Sushi King because of stories of him eating sushi off the bodies of near-naked models during wild nightclub bashes. At his birthday party a few months ago, attended by many izikhothane groups, Kunene encouraged the youths always to go for the best, mentioning that his outfit, including accessories, had cost 113,000 rand (£8,400) – a fortune in South Africa, now officially the most unequal country in the world.
Kunene recently denounced the practice of burning clothes and tearing up banknotes, but defended the izikhothanes for having the confidence to dress and behave like no one “expects poor blacks” to. He pointed out that these young people do not fight in gangs or take drugs, and encouraged them to aim high, getting an education to go with their flashy lifestyle.
Jakes Mjeke, an izikhothane with bleached hair, agrees. “We stay away from crime, we avoid fights, we don’t do drugs, we spend most of our time in the salon, upgrading ourselves,” he says. “It is all about status.”

All Africa, All the time.