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Exhibition: The Future is Blinking" Early studio photography from West and Central Africa / Switzerland: until 3 July 2022

For the first time, an exhibition focuses on the photographs of the earliest local photographers from West and Central Africa. Since the late 19th century, they have been creating enchanting photographs together with their customers in open-air studios. The thought of future viewers was always present; for them, the people in front of the camera staged themselves in the way they wanted posterity to see them. The photographs are thus sharply differentiated from the images of colonial photographers, who served to confirm a backward, exotic other.

Using around one hundred original prints, the exhibition addresses the most important themes in the history of photography in West and Central Africa. The focus is on the peculiarities of this photo culture and the interrelationships with other local art forms.

"The Future is Blinking" is a quote by the Ghanaian photographer Philip Kwame Apagya (*1958) from the film Future Remembrance by Tobias Wendl (1997). Apagya thus refers to what he considers the most important task of photography in Ghana: creating memories for future generations with idealized portraits.

"The Future is Blinking" Early studio photography from West and Central Africa
Museum Rietberg
Gablerstrasse 15
CH-8002 Zurich
Switzerland: until 3 July 2022

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