African photography has emerged as a significant focus of research and scholarship over the last twenty years, the result of a growing interest in postcolonial societies and cultures and a turn towards visual evidence across the humanities and social sciences. At the same time, many rich and fascinating photographic collections have come to light.
This volume explores the complex theoretical and practical issues involved in the study of African photographic archives, based on case studies drawn from across the continent dating from the 19th century to the present day. Chapters consider what constitutes an archive, from the familiar mission and state archives to more local, vernacular and personal accumulations of photographs; the importance of a critical and reflexive engagement with photographic collections; and the question of where and what is 'Africa', as constructed in the photographic archive.
Essential reading for all researchers working with photographic archives, this book consolidates current thinking on the topic and sets the agenda for future research in this field.