Call for Art Interventions for the international conference ‘Validating Visual Heritage in Africa’
Buea, Cameroon 30 Aug 2014
Between 2013 and 2014 the Press Photo Archives Buea, Cameroon have been digitized. The international conference Validating Visual Heritage in Africa: Historical Photographs and the Role of the “Archive” taking place in Buea (Cameroon) in January 2015 will mark the completion of the two-year project carried out by African Photography Initiatives.
Expanding the academic frame and in order to further promote a critical engagement with the Archives’ rich visual material African Photography Initiatives solicits contributions from artists using the material of the Press Photo Archives Buea for an art intervention. The selected art works will be exhibited in Buea during the conference and accessible to the public. Furthermore, the selected art works will be included in future events and media promoting the project and Africa Photography Initiatives.
Since the Archives comprise approximately 120.000 negatives a selection of 90 photographs grouped into three themes will be provided as a working basis for the artists. The three following transversal themes are proposed in order to facilitate and structure the artists’ approach.
1. Times of Transition and Change
The photographers of the state’s Information Service covered all important political and social events in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions between 1955 and 2000. Bridging the country’s colonial and precolonial period and documenting the period before and after independence as well as many other key moments of Cameroon’s recent history the material provides a rich basis for a critical examination of the past and present.
2. Rituals of Power and Leisure
Before TV being the principal instruments of the Cameroonian state’s internal and external visual communication, the Press Photo Archives Buea open a window to more than 40 years of state protocolary and ritual narratives as well as to cultural and leisure events.
3. Actors and Participants
The Archive highlights (but also omits) for the main part persons of public interest such as traditional leaders and politicians. However, beyond that, the spectrum of visual portraits includes participants of political rallies, protagonists of public social events as well as ordinary people who happened to be, for various reasons, of interest for the government photographers.
– Admitted artists will be given access to all 90 photographs on the website of African Photography Initiatives. High resolution images to work with will be provided on demand.
– Deadline for the submission of the portfolios containing a brief and concise description of the intervention, the art work itself as well as information regarding the technical requirements for its realisation is December 1, 2014. Portfolios shall be sent by email to email@example.com
– Submissions are judged by an internationally sourced jury, with the winning entries be exhibited in Buea, Cameroon during the conference. The artists whose work has been selected will be asked to provide their art work in a format and quality suited for production.
– All art works remain the property of the artists and African Photography Initiatives will only use them in the framework of the Press Photo Archives Buea project. Copyrights of the images provided remain with the Ministry of Communication and will be clearly declared.