Around the World

Surprising Images of Life in Africa

Life in Africa seems to be an endless cycle of war, famine, disease and destruction. Or so news reports of the continent would indicate, where the maxim “it bleeds, it leads” governs much of the coverage. But alongside these very real problems, there is an everyday life for the billion or so Africans that is not much different from the rest of the world.

“Everyday Africa” is an online photography project attempting to change the negative perceptions and stereotypes of the continent. Professional photographers living and working in different parts of Africa take photos on their smartphones and post them on the project’s Tumblr and Instagram feed.

“It’s not a place of war and famine and destruction and all these horrible things,” said Austin Merrill, a journalist and co-creator of the project. “It’s a place where normal people do normal things all the time, just like we do.”

Merrill and co-creator Peter DiCampo, a documentary photographer, conceived “Everyday Africa” while covering a story in Ivory Coast last March, snapping casual photos on their iPhones along the way.

“To me, the place that I know best is a place that’s very normal,” said Merrill, who was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ivory Coast and later worked as a reporter in different parts of Africa. “It feels very much like life here, where people go to school and go out to restaurants and do their laundry and play a musical instrument in a band. And that’s what we’re trying to capture.”

The Instagram feed is nearing 20,000 followers and has about 350 images from 16 countries. They range from cheerleaders at a soccer match in Zimbabwe to a teen boy rollerblading through cones on a street in Senegal to a couple getting married in Uganda.

“It’s a huge uphill struggle to change people’s perceptions,” said Merrill. “So we decided, let’s start a new conversation, let’s distribute our own images. It is a small drip in a large ocean but our hope is that it can little by little change perceptions.”

The images of Everyday Africa can be found on the project’s Tumblr page and on its Instagram feed, @everydayafrica.

A selection of images from the online collection are on display in New York City at the Walter Reade Theater at the Film Society of Lincoln Center through April 25.

Loading...
  • NYSE stocks posting largest percentage increases

    A look at the 10 biggest percentage gainers on New York Stock Exchange at the close of trading: Athlon Energy Inc. rose 24.8 percent to $58.32. Arista Networks rose 9.6 percent to $93.31. Mobileye NV rose ...

  • AP INTERVIEW: US should hit all militants in Syria
    AP INTERVIEW: US should hit all militants in Syria

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Syria's foreign minister said Monday that the U.S.-led bombing campaign should be expanded to target other militant groups besides the Islamic State group, noting that the fight against terrorism has aligned the Syrian regime with its Western and Arab opponents in a fight against a common enemy.

  • Mickelson slammed by Monty, Faldo for incendiary comments
    Mickelson slammed by Monty, Faldo for incendiary comments

    (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson's scathing criticism of United States Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson sparked a firestorm of reaction on Sunday with former European skippers Colin Montgomerie and Nick Faldo saying the American was out of line. Former PGA Tour player Brandel Chamblee, who now works as a golf analyst for Golf Channel, went even further, describing Mickelson as a golfer who had "corrupted the experience of the Ryder Cup". Shortly after the U.S. ...

  • Cancer doctor given 10 years for poisoning lover
    Cancer doctor given 10 years for poisoning lover

    A jury has sentenced a Texas cancer researcher to 10 years in prison after she was convicted of poisoning her colleague, who was also her lover, by lacing his coffee with a chemical found in antifreeze.

  • China busts smugglers of iPhone 6 in Shanghai
    China busts smugglers of iPhone 6 in Shanghai

    BEIJING (AP) — China in recent days has busted a slew of smugglers bringing Apple iPhone 6 models into the country ahead of their official release here, with officials on Sunday reporting the latest seizure of 453 smartphones in Shanghai.

  • Drone captures Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests from above
    Drone captures Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests from above

    A drone operator captured footage of the growing crowd as it swelled beneath the skyscrapers of the city's central business district.

  • New Zealand dollar sinks after central bank sells

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The New Zealand dollar sank Monday after the central bank disclosed it conducted its biggest sell-off of the currency in seven years to lower an exchange rate that is squeezing exporters.

  • U.S., Kurds strike at Islamic State in Syria
    U.S., Kurds strike at Islamic State in Syria

    By Mariam Karouny and Jonny Hogg BEIRUT/MURSITPINAR Turkey (Reuters) - U.S. warplanes attacked Islamic State targets in Syria overnight, in raids that a group monitoring the war said killed civilians as well as jihadist fighters. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes hit mills and grain storage areas in the northern Syrian town of Manbij, in an area controlled by Islamic State, killing at least two civilian workers. ...

Loading...