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...
  • Protesters fight police, burn Maduro puppets in Venezuela

    By Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - Masked youths battled police, protesters burned and hung from lamp-posts effigies of President Nicolas Maduro and marchers demanded the "resurrection" of democracy on a volatile Easter Sunday in Venezuela. Though millions of Venezuelans have headed for Caribbean beaches and family gatherings over the Easter period, student demonstrators have sought to keep a nearly three-month protest movement going with religious-themed demonstrations. "We're staying in the street until we get our country back," student leader Djamil Jassir, 22, told Reuters in a square where protesters displayed dozens of used gas canisters and bullets as symbols of repression. "This is the time to stand firm." Later, several hundred hooded protesters, many wearing Guy Fawkes masks, set up barricades in the eastern Chacao district of Caracas that has been a near-daily battleground during recent unrest in Venezuela since mid-February.

  • Deadly gun attack in eastern Ukraine shakes fragile Geneva accord

    By Aleksandar Vasovic and Alissa de Carbonnel SLAVIANSK/YENAKIEVO, Ukraine (Reuters) - At least three people were killed in a gunfight in the early hours of Sunday near a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russian separatists, shaking an already fragile international accord that was designed to avert a wider conflict. The incident triggered a war of words between Moscow and Ukraine's western-backed government with each questioning the other's compliance with the agreement, brokered last week in Geneva, to end a crisis that has made Russia's ties with the West more fraught than at any time since the Cold War. The separatists said armed men from Ukraine's Right Sector nationalist group had attacked them. Failure of the Geneva agreement could bring more bloodshed in eastern Ukraine, but may also prompt the United States to impose tougher sanctions on the Kremlin - with far-reaching consequences for many economies and importers of Russian energy.

  • GOP making bold play for US Senate seat in Oregon
    GOP making bold play for US Senate seat in Oregon

    LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (AP) — The GOP is making a bold play for a U.S. Senate seat in reliably Democratic Oregon, where a Republican hasn't been elected to a statewide office in more than a decade.

  • Aldridge leads Blazers over Rockets 122-120 in OT
    Aldridge leads Blazers over Rockets 122-120 in OT

    HOUSTON (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge was playing on another level Sunday night and had the emotional intensity to match the best performance of his career.

  • Queen Elizabeth portrait released to mark 88th birthday
    Queen Elizabeth portrait released to mark 88th birthday

    A new portrait of Queen Elizabeth, taken by David Bailey, has been released to mark her 88th birthday on Monday, with the renowned photographer delighting in the "mischievous glint" in her eyes. The black-and-white photograph of the smiling monarch was taken in March at her Buckingham Palace official residence in London. The monarch is pictured wearing pearls and a dress by Angela Kelly, her personal assistant and senior dresser of 12 years.

  • Prosecutor says 4 ferry crewmembers detained
    Prosecutor says 4 ferry crewmembers detained

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean prosecutor says four more crewmembers from a sunken ferry have been detained on allegations of failing to protect passengers.

  • 16-year-old survives in wheel well of Maui flight
    16-year-old survives in wheel well of Maui flight

    HONOLULU (AP) — Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a plane's wheel well, surviving cold temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen.

  • Why are Americans obsessed with missing plane?
    Why are Americans obsessed with missing plane?

    PERTH, Australia (AP) — From the disappearances of aviator Amelia Earhart to labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa, there's just something about a good mystery that Americans find too tantalizing to resist. Perhaps that's why the saga of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has continued to rivet the country long after people elsewhere have moved on.

Loading...