Home / Blog
< Back to blog

African Cosmologies: Photography, Time and the Other

POSTED: 28 April 2020

New photobook to add to your lockdown reading list

'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

Our Director, Mark Sealy, recently curated African Cosmologies – Photography, Time and the Other, the central programme of Houston's FotoFest Biennial 2020. It’s the first time in the Biennial's 37-year history that the central exhibition focused on artists of African origin. The exhibition is postponed due to Covid-19, however you can still explore the photography and ideas in the new hard-cover catalogue.

The book was curated by Mark and brings together 33 artists of African origin from around the globe, whose works challenge traditional notions of Blackness and transnational histories.

The artists turn an eye to social, cultural, and political conditions that inform and influence concepts of representation as they relate to image production and circulation in Africa and beyond. Questioning 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 marginalised identities.

At 296 pages and 218 images, there's a lot to see and think about - an important exposition of historical and contemporary Africa and the African diaspora.

Available to buy from Schilt Publishing’s website, £45 / €50 / $60


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)


African Cosmologies: Photography, Time, and the Other is published by Schilt Publishing in conjunction with Fotofest Biennial 2020

Co-Edited by Steven Evans
Curated by Mark Sealy

Design by Henk van Assen, HvA Design, Brooklyn
ISBN 978 90 5330 932 2
Size: 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
€50 | $60 | £45

Images, from top left: 1) Rotimi Fani-Kayode
, Four Twins [detail], 1985.
 Courtesy Autograph, London. 2) Aïda Muluneh, Access, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From the series Water Life, 2018. Commissioned by Water Aid, 2018. Courtesy of Aïda Muluneh and Water Aid 3) Hélène A. Amouzou, Self-Portraits, 2008. Courtesy Hélène A. Amouzou. 4) Wilfred Ukpong, BC1-ND-FC: By and by, I Will Carry this Burden of Hope, till the Laments of my Newborn is Heard #2, 2017. From the series Blazing Century 1, Niger-Delta/Future-Cosmos, 2011–17. Courtesy of Wilfred Ukpong and Blazing Century Studios, Nigeria. 5) Rahima Gambo Rukkaya and Hadiza, Maiduguri, Nigeria, 2016. Juxtaposed with a connect-the-dots style illustration from a school book. From the series Education is Forbidden, 2015–16. Courtesy of Rahima Gambo and Open Society Foundation