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...
  • Today in History

    Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year. Autumn arrives at 10:29 p.m. Eastern time.

  • Israel says to join Cairo truce talks Tuesday
    Israel says to join Cairo truce talks Tuesday

    Jerusalem (AFP) - Israel said on Sunday it would send a delegation to attend indirect Gaza truce talks with Hamas in Cairo next week, although a minister said they would likely achieve nothing.

  • Russia's Putin looking at cooperation to fight Islamic State: agency
    Russia's Putin looking at cooperation to fight Islamic State: agency

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed with his Security Council on Monday potential cooperation with other countries on fighting against Islamic State, Russian news agencies cited the Kremlin's spokesman as saying. Russia, whose ties with Washington are at their lowest since the end of the Cold War, has not yet responded to calls from the United States to build an international coalition to destroy the radical Sunni Muslim group, which has seized swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria. ...

  • Syrian Kurds in Turkey recount Islamic State terror
    Syrian Kurds in Turkey recount Islamic State terror

    Mursitpinar (Turkey) (AFP) - They look like mere shadows under the trees, but then the red dust clears and the huddled shapes reveal themselves as a handful of the tens of thousands of Kurds fleeing the Islamic State group in Syria.

  • Argentina's Fernandez to meet billionaire investor Soros in New York

    BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez on Monday will meet bondholder and billionaire financier George Soros, who is suing a U.S. bank caught in the middle of the country's latest debt default, a government minister said. The meeting comes as Fernandez's leftist government struggles to kick-start growth and contain runaway consumer prices after failing to complete a June interest payment to Soros and other holders of bonds restructured after a previous default. Soros' portfolio also includes a 3.5 percent stake in Argentina's state-controlled energy firm YPF . ...

  • India's Modi to observe strict fast during maiden trip to U.S
    India's Modi to observe strict fast during maiden trip to U.S

    By Rupam Jain Nair NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will observe a strict religious fast during his maiden trip to the United States, aides said on Monday, in a test both of the 64-year-old leader's stamina and of protocol in the Obama White House. Throughout a grueling schedule that features the United Nations General Assembly, a rally of Indian Americans at New York's Madison Square Garden and talks with Obama in Washington, the devout Hindu will abstain from food. ...

  • Los Cabos struggles after devastating storm Odile
    Los Cabos struggles after devastating storm Odile

    Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) (AFP) - There is still no water, no electricity and almost nothing to eat in Los Cabos, a small corner of paradise in northwestern Mexico leveled by Hurricane Odile.

  • Who wins Senate control? Nov. 4 might not decide
    Who wins Senate control? Nov. 4 might not decide

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A suspenseful election night is one thing. But what if it stretches out for a month or more?

Loading...