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African Cosmologies

Produced in conjunction with the FotoFest Biennial 2020 exhibition, African Cosmologies: Photography, Time, and the Other 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.

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Author: FotoFest International


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, and it is the first time in the Biennial’s 37-year history that the central exhibition will focus on artists of African origin.

“FotoFest has a long history of international engagement, and we are especially excited to be working with photographers from Africa and its diaspora in 2020.”
– Steven Evans, executive director of FotoFest.

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.

The artists featured in the book 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)

Founded in Houston in 1983, FotoFest is the first and longest running photographic arts festival in the United States. It was held for the first time in 1986 and has become known as a showcase for the discovery and presentation of important new work and talent from around the world.

The Biennial takes place citywide in Houston with participation from leading art museums, art galleries, non-profit art spaces, universities and civic spaces.


Reviews & Features
The Guardian 
The British Journal of Photography
LFI magazine (May-June 2020)
LFI blog 
Ocula magazine 
GUP magazine
L’Oeil de la photographie
Morning Star newspaper (April 25-26, 2020)
PhotoNews, May-June 2020 (in German)
Sugarcane Magazine 
The Burlington Magazine
Sybylla J Smith Photobook Club (November 13th, 2020)
The Guardian – The best books of 2020: Maaza Mengiste
Best Photography Books of 2020, by Elizabeth Avedon 
ZAM magazine 


Shortlists & Awards
The 2020 Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards
2020 Lucie PhotoBook Award


Design: Henk van Assen, HvA Design, Brooklyn
ISBN 9789053309322
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

Additional information

Weight 1.2 kg
Dimensions 24.5 × 17.5 × 0.28 cm


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