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African Cosmologies : Photography, Time and the Other


For nearly forty years, FotoFest has presented and worked with artists, photographers, and thinkers from Japan, Latin America, Korea, China, Russia, and the Arab Region. The central programme of Houston’s FotoFest Biennial 2020 is African Cosmologies – Photography, Time and the Other and it is the first time in the Biennial’s 37-year history that the central exhibition focused on artists of African origin.

Curated by renowned London-based curator, Mark Sealy MBE, this lavish tome brings together 33 artists of African origins from around the globe whose works challenge traditional notions of Blackness and transnational histories in relation to concepts of liberty, rights, and representation.

In their unique practices, the featured artists turn an eye to social, cultural, and political conditions that inform and influence concepts of representation as they pertain to image production and circulation in Africa and beyond. These artists question the ways in which subjectivity is constructed and deconstructed by the camera, and in the process, reveal legacies of resistance by those who defy traditional ideas of sexual, racial, gender-based, and other marginalized identities.


“From the beginning, photography was wrapped up in the violence and colonialism of Europe and Africa. I hope this will let us explore who owns photography, and how different histories are now coming to the fore.”

  • Mark Sealy MBE, curator of FotoFest Biennial 2020

The artists featured in African Cosmologies – Photography, Time and the Other include:

Faisal Abdu’Allah (UK)

Akinbode Akinbiyi (Nigeria/UK)

Hélène A. Amouzou (Togo/Belgium)

Sammy Baloji (Congo/Belgium)

James Barnor (Ghana/UK)

Bruno Boudjelal (France/Algeria)

Edson Chagas (Angola)

Ernest Cole (South Africa)

Jamal Cyrus (USA)

Jean Depara (Angola/Congo)

Laura El-Tantawy (Egypt/UK)

Samuel Fosso (Cameroon/France)

Rahima Gambo (Nigeria)

Eric Gyamfi (Ghana)

Lyle Ashton Harris (USA)

Samson Kambalu (Malawi/UK)

Rotimi Fani-Kayode (Nigeria)

leo with Shobun Baile (Brazil/US)

Mónica de Miranda (Angola/Portugal)

Santu Mofokeng (South Africa)

Sethembile Msezane (South Africa)

Zanele Muholi (South Africa)

Aïda Muluneh (Ethiopia)

Eustáquio Neves (Brazil)

Nyaba L. Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso/France)

Rosana Paulino (Brazil)

Dawit L. Petros (Eritrea/USA/Canada)

Zina Saro-Wiwa (Nigeria/USA)

Aida Silvestri (Eritrea/UK)

Lindokuhle Sobekwa (South Africa/USA)

Wilfred Ukpong (France/Nigeria)

Carrie Mae Weems (USA)



Book information




Published by Schilt Publishing in conjunction with Fotofest, March 2020

Design: Henk van Assen, HvA Design, Brooklyn
ISBN 978 90 5330 932 2
Format: 17 x 24.2 cm
Hardback with 2 colour foil stamping and coloured cutting edges
296 pages with 218 photos and illustrations in b&w and full colour
World rights
March 2020 (Europe and Houston, TX)
May 2020 (Rest of the world)
€50 | $60 | £45


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