This is the first exhibition to focus on the work of the earliest local photographers working in West and Central Africa. Towards the end of the 19th century, together with their clients, they began to produce captivating images in outdoor studios. Future viewers of their images were always kept in mind; the sitters posed as they wanted to be seen by posterity. These images are remarkably different from the work of colonial photographers whose work served to confirm the Other as backward and exotic.

With around one hundred original prints, the exhibition considers the key themes in the history of photography in West and Central Africa with a focus on its peculiarities and its connections with other local art forms.

“The Future is Blinking” is a quotation from the Ghanaian photographer Philip Kwame Apagya (b.1958) in Tobias Wendl’s 1997 film Future Remembrance. In it, Apagya refers to what he sees as the main function of photography in Ghana: the creation of idealized portraits to permit remembrance by future generations.

At the same time, the outdoor exhibition CAP Prize 2020 and 2021 (18.03.2022 till 12.06.2022) will take place in the Rieterpark, showing contemporary African photography.