The Unscrambling Africa Project: Telling Africa’s Stories Through Different Lenses
Africa has had an image problem, which has been amplified by the power of the internet. Anyone who has googled most African cities like Nairobi will most likely know that the images that come up are not exactly flattering. It’s mostly slums, conflict or at best, wildlife. Also, most of the images are not by Africans but by tourists who have an outside looking in point of view.
Mutua Matheka is well known for his images of Nairobi as a vibrant, colourful city. His passion for a different view of Nairobi through photography came to him when he went up to the rooftop of one of the taller buildings in Nairobi and saw the city from a perspective new even to him. He set out to photograph his city in order to show the beauty he saw in it and to balance the imagery that introduces the world to Nairobi.
This journey has led him to like-minded individuals who share the passion for shattering the common perceptions associated with African cities.
Unscrambling Africa is a road trip project with the purpose to explore what defines urbanity across our continent, Africa. From Nairobi to Durban, the team will see and document what these cities look like, meet the people that reside in them, interact with the sub-cultures and photograph the built environment of these cities. The journey and photos will be shared with anyone interested using various social media platforms.
Why Unscrambling Africa?
Unscrambling Africa is a project that will go into urban areas all over the continent, from Alexandria to CapeTown, Yaoundé to Addis Ababa (starting with Southern Africa) to explore the different personalities African cities have. To document what urbanity means in the African context. To document how we use, define and relate with our spaces in Africa, whether explicitly or implicitly defined. To explore African architecture (does it exist?). To explore how different (or similar) the culture of urbanity is in different African cities and most importantly, to share this information so that more of us can have an idea of how it looks like in our neighboring cities. Hopefully this could be one of the many ways to unscramble our continent using photography and video as a key tool.
Mutua Matheka – Photographer, artist, former architect and avid traveler, with a great eye for showcasing African landscapes, architecture and cultures. He has been a photographer since 2010 and has a dream of photographing all African cities. Mutua chooses to see the beauty in the mundane. [Instagram: @truthslinger]
Joe Were – Travel and documentary photographer, linguist, Instagram influencer and adventure-seeker. Joe has an eye for landscapes and capturing human moments of beauty. [Instagram: @jaydabliu]
Lulu Kitololo – Artist, designer, creative director and storyteller whose current tools of choice are illustration and graphic design. Inspired by nature, tropical colour as well as culture and craft traditions from across the continent – content creation is her cup of tea. [Instagram: @lulukitololo]
Josh Kisamwa – Travel & Documentary storyteller using film as his medium. Inspired by the stories he hears from the people he meets all over the continent. [Instagram: @joshkisamwa]
PROJECT: Unscrambling Africa – A crowdfunding project to document African cities.
TIME FRAME: Ongoing until 24th December 2016
GOAL: USD 35,000http://www.mwendengao.com/2016/12/13/the-unscrambling-africa-project-telling-africas-stories-through-different-lenses/ArtNewsAfrica,Mutua Matheka,photography