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Uganda's Unknown Vintage Photographs

Uganda's lost vintage photographs resurface on History in Progress, an online archive geared toward digging up unknown histories in East Africa.


History in Progress (HIP) is a well-curated time travel into Uganda's history. HIP was started in August 2011 by Rumanzi Canon, a Ugandan multi-media photographer, and Andrea Stultiens, a photographer from the Netherlands, with a mission to “create alternatives for the prevailing version(s) of the representation of (Ugandan) history by digitizing and sharing historic photographs." The photographs come from an array of mostly private archives are are staged primarily on HIP's active Facebook page. Facebook users tied to the photos are often surprised to see old images of their friends and family and are excited to share the narratives behind the photos in the comments section.

We recently caught up with Andrea Stultiens, who admitted that she's not comfortable describing herself as a photographer but rather someone “doing things with photographs." She says, "I make them, collect them, look at them, think and write about them. Sometimes I make the results of this visible for the rest of the world online, in books or in exhibitions.” We asked her about the motivation, and background behind this project.

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Arts + Culture
Samuel Fosso, Self Portrait, 1977. International Center of Photography, Purchase, with fundsprovided by the ICP Aquisitions Committee, 2004 (19.2004) © Samuel Fosso, Courtesy JMPatras/Paris

These Portraits by African Photographers Reveal the Power In Self-Presentation

We take a tour through the International Center for Photography's "Your Mirror: Portraits from the ICP Collection", which features influential works from Malick Sidibé, Zanele Muholi, Samuel Fosso and more.

The eyes of the young woman in Zanele Muholi's "Anele, 'Anza' Khaba," look as if they're staring directly into your soul. With her arms folded against her chest, it seems she might be putting a guard up or that they might simply be trying to look cool for the camera. With portraiture especially, how far you decide to read into something is up to you, as often, the line between a subject's desire for self-presentation and what the photographer themselves seeks to convey, isn't always clear. These are the types of observations that the "Your Mirror: Portraits from the ICP Collection", sparked in my mind as I strolled through the space with its Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Erin Barnett.

"You learn a lot about yourself and about other people by looking at portraits, but not always what you think you know," she says. We also learn a lot about the person behind the lens. The ICP's exhibit features works from photographers from across the globe, with the mission of surveying "the nuanced ways people present themselves for the camera, how and by whom they are represented, and who is deemed worthy of commemoration." The works of four prominent African photographers are included in the exhibition: the Malian icon Malick Sidibé, Cameroon's Samuel Fosso, along with South African photographers Zanele Muholi, and Lolo Veleko. Their photographs, the settings, and who they choose to document, give us a glimpse into their vision as much as it does the subjects in their photographs (which for Samuel Fosso, in this case, is himself.)

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This Malick Sidibé Inspired Fashion Editorial Is a Fusion of Art, Protest and Identity

NYC-based photographer Mark Aghatise shares an exclusive fashion editorial inspired by the late Malick Sidibé with OkayAfrica.

This editorial by NYC-based photographer Mark Aghatise is a fusion of art, protest and identity.

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Michael Kiwanuka Pays Homage to the Black Liberation Movements of the '60s In New Video 'Hero'

The artist's latest single references some of his personal heroes including Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Tupac Shakur and more.

British-Ugandan soul singer Michael Kiwanuka drops another single ahead of the release of his forthcoming album, KIWANUKA.

In "Hero" the singer pays homage to the Black Power and Civil Rights movements of the 1960s and 70s. The music video, directed by CC Wade references several Black leaders and some of the artist's personal heroes including Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Martin Luther King Jr., Sam Cooke, Tupac Shakur, Marvin Gaye and more. It also depicts the FBI's often illegal efforts to stop Black movements and other anti-establishment groups through its Counterintelligence Program, as noted in Rolling Stone.

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Listen to Bongeziwe Mabandla’s New Single ‘Jikeleza’

Bongeziwe Mabandla shares new optimistic single.

"Jikeleza" is South African folk musician Bongeziwe Mabandla's latest single. The song, which is sung in IsiXhosa like most of the man's work, speaks on love giving us life.

"It is about our universal need to connect," says Bongeziwe in a press release. "It is about the togetherness in people and about the things that bind us and make us the same."

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