Ever imagined how the first African felt,or reacted after seeing their Photograph?, it definitely became more dramatic when they had a glimpse of a motion picture (film). For many trembled- thinking of how the gods had sent their look-like to replace them. This technology was worshiped-and so were its inventors.
Photography is one of the earth’s oldest Artform, though it is definately inspired from the ‘Realism’ Artform- since with this, visual Artists, till to date can do wonders in portraying present or past situations, which passes on a real message.
Learning of the Kigali Photo Fest is news that struck me, but with a smile, since this is something I thought was far fetched. But, this is a new lane in widely recognising, celebrating and learning more of this Art.
As an invention, to Africa, Photography was anciently first used by explorers and missionaries for documenting their sojourns- in their line of duty.
When this tech was adopted by African, indeed it further served the same purpose.
Mali’s Malik Sidibe portrait photography in the 1960s- which depicted cultural living, or Okai Ojeikere(Nigerian), whose works doccumented hairstyles are some of the few key figures celebrated with in African Photography.
The role of Photography amongst society can hardly be ignored; talk of with in publication of Newspapers, journals, magazines to books.
It is just lately that Photography is no longer odd, for gone are the times when a village took pride of the one and only cameraman they had. Lined up to book photoshoot appointments, and took not only months preparing for a photoshoot, but also waiting for his return from the studio. Hiring a cameraman for one’s wedding day was a dream, and yes, this was an odd job women couldn’t do.
Less known by many is how Photography is celebrated today. With this dawn of mobile phone tech, which have eased photoshoots, to selfies, this has more called for acknowledgement of the Art too.
With Kigali hosting the first edition of the Kigali Photo Fest(from June 7), am quite expecting greater discovery through learning about African Photography, while further enlightening more on the uplifting of the Art.