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Svizzera, Estero - 25 Agosto 2017

Multiple Gazes of a Country’s Photographed Past

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Launching of the book “Multiple Gazes of a Country’s Photographed Past” 25.08.2017 h.18:00 Basel University Library Schönbeinstrasse 18-20, 4056 Basilea These are the last days of the exhibition “Images of Current Affairs. Press Photography and Archives in Africa” at the Basel University Library’s exhibition hall. On the occasion of the closing event on Friday 25 August at 6 pm we will present the book “Multiple Gazes of a Country’s Photographed Past” and offer a last guided tour through the exhibition. “Multiple Gazes of a Country’s Photographed Past” is the result of 3 years’ work with 27 visual artists from 17 countries. Following the original square format of the Yashica cameras, the book, 21 x 21 cm in format, contains 124 pages and 89 images which are reinterpretations and explorations of a sample of historical photographs from the Buea Press Photo Archives (Cameroon). We look forward to seeing you there and raise our glasses in a toast to the successful exhibition. The works presented in Multiple Gazes of a Country’s Photographed Past are based on the photo material kept in the Press Photo Archives Buea, Cameroon, and emerge from an online call to use historical photographs as a starting point for artistic interventions. 27 artists from 17 countries have accepted the invitation and submitted their artistic reinterpretations and exploration of a small sample of photographs from the Archives. The results of their dealing with historical material, the confrontation of document and art work, the merger of past and present, reveal the great, at times disturbing potential of artistic engagements with archive material. For two years, between 2013 and 2015, African Photography Initiatives has been working in the Press Photo Archives Buea, Cameroon, a state-owned institution under the authority of the Ministry of Communication. Over 25’000 negatives were digitized as well as 14’000 contact sheets, each containing between 12 and 16 contact prints. The digital conservation of the archive material was supplemented by physical conservation and protection measures. The overall objective of the archive project was to provide sustainable access to the images for people of all kind and interests: historians, amateurs and professionals, anthropologists, art historians, and not least, artists, so that they can work with the photo material and use it for their respective purposes. Deeply convinced that only archives that are used and present in the public conscience will survive African Photography Initiatives will continue to promote a critical, academic and non-academic engagement with the Press Photo Archives’ material. Multiple gazes of a country’s photographed past Curated by Rosario Mazuela Texts by Jürg Schneider Edited by Rosario Mazuela/ Jürg Schneider Published by African Photography Initiatives Graphic design by Rafael J. Berganza Featuring artworks of: Adalberto Abbate, Amalia Ramanankirahina, Anne Gregory, Caecilia Tripp, Carolle Benitah, Cécile Hummel, Diogo Bento, Dunja Herzog, Elsa M’bala, Erika Nimis, Fabien Lapouge, Frida Robles, Gisele Frøysland, Gregorio Mendez, Hillie de Rooij, Justine Gaga, Maite Cajaraville, Mustafa Saeed, Pascale Obolo, Raquel Bravo Iglesias, Ray Piwi Ochieng, Rosario Mazuela, Spring Ulmer, Thaís Medina, Vincent Bezuidenhout, Xavier Aguirre Palacios, Zara Julius and Sarah Dauphiné Tchouatcha 124 pages 21x21 cm Limited edition of 150 copies Softcover matt plasticized Pages in high quality paper matt 170 gr Stitched binding ISBN: 978-84-697-3521-3