Everyday Africa

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Hwange, Zimbabwe by Charlie Shoemaker
Words by Billie Jenkins Images courtesy of Everyday Africa

It’s strange to stereotype a whole, vast continent, made up of over 50 countries, as a single entity, but Africa doesn’t always get the best press. Unfortunately it seems all to easy for the Western media to propagate those negative stereotypes because bad news is news. Photographers Peter DiCampo and Austin Merrill recognised that these half-truths of disease, poverty and war being fed audiences overseas were unfair, and to an extent damaging; and so under the tagline ’Photographers living and working in Africa, finding the extreme not nearly as prevalent as the familiar, the everyday’, the Everyday Africa project was born.

It has a wide range of regularly contributing photographers living or working in Africa, 18 are featured on their website, however the project has grown to incorporate hundreds of keen snappers, who take part with the ever growing #everydayafrica tag. The attempt to redirect viewers perspectives towards a more balanced view of the daily experiences of those living in the continent has made positive waves, drawing attention from many large media bodies, from The a Guardian to National Geographic.

Although the uploads can be found on their own Tumblr, head to the Instagram for the best experience. It’s diverse, and it’s great photography, with portraits making the most interesting viewing. Whether or not the Everyday Africa project, and similar enterprises, can really begin deconstructing Western concepts of Africa and Africaness, is a question that I can’t answer. It is sad to think that the people likely to view the feed are those who are already open-minded or sceptical of the perpetuated stereotypes. But it’s a start, and you can’t argue with that.

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Cape Town, South Africa by Charlie Shoemaker

 

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San Pedro, Ivory Coast by Peter DiCampo

 

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Duekoue, Ivory Coast by Austin Merrill

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