The photography collective Everday Africa is breaking stereotypes of what the continent looks like with their incredible Instagram feed. Created in 2012 by photojournalist Peter DiCampo and writer Austin Merrill, the account has become a bigger movement to demonstrate the shades of life that pulse throughout Africa, a continent so often overlooked by mainstream media.
The original idea came to DiCampo and Merrill while on assignment in the Ivory Coast, where they were tasked with covering the country’s post-conflict environment. “We both realized how frustrated we were with the fact that we had confined ourselves to such a narrow view of the country. It happened naturally: we started shooting with our phones and we captured real moments,” DiCampo shares. “It was refreshing because the pictures we were taking veered away from the pre-conceived narrative; and in some ways this idea of broadening the context of imagery taken in West Africa shone through.”
Now, a pool of photographers contributes to the Instagram feed, with other imagery coming from users who post to the hashtag #EverydayAfrica. Initially, many of the photographers were Westerners sent to Africa on assignment, something that has now changed. DiCampo notes that at a certain point, things shifted, with African photographers comprising the majority of the contributors. One image at a time, Everyday Africa is shifting our thinking, focusing on real, positive moments of life.
More than just an Instagram account, Everyday Africa is expanding its reach, with educational programs in the US and Africa and a forthcoming book. Currently available for pre-sale, Everyday Africa: 30 Photographers Re-Picturing a Continent, contains over 300 images that speak to the reimagined landscape of Africa and includes some of the comments and commentary of the Instagram feed.
Everyday Africa has over 300,00o followers on Instagram. Here are some highlights from their photography collective about life in Africa.
Cheikh poses proudly with his car rapide. He is 28 and still single because “I can’t seem to agree with the ladies on the terms for marriage.” (Photo by Nana Kofi Acquah)
A woman takes photographs at the Jamaa Lafna Square in Marrakesh, a UNESCO heritage site. (Photo by Jana Ašenbrennerová)
Children play on the streets in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Accra. (Photo by Nichole Sobecki)
Girls get their selfies game going on the beach as they celebrate Ghana’s diamond jubilee.
(Photo by Nana Kofi Acquah)
Elvis getting ready to go to Friday prayers. Dakar, Senegal. (Photo by Ricci Shryock)
Jump Rope turned Tug of War. Banjul, Gambia. (Photo by Ricci Shryock)
Djokoto II. Style is the most eloquent voice the soul has. Ghana. (Photo by Nana Kofi Acquah)
Senegalese soldiers part of the MINUSMA operation in Mali, securing a road in the town of Gao. (Photo by Guillaume Bonn)
Men warm themselves by the fire at the Djalori Refugee Camp in Diffa, Niger. (Photo by Jane Hahn)
A young woman hawks water in the crazy traffic at Kaneshie, Accra wearing a “back to sender” wrist band. “Back to sender” is a spiritual declaration, commanding evil forces and spells to go back to wherever they came from. (Photo by Nana Kofi Acquah)
Tattoo artist at work at the Railway Museum gallery space in Nairobi. (Photo by Barry Christianson)
Mother with her son enjoying views at Ait Ben Haddou, Ouarzazate in Morocco. (Photo by Jana Ašenbrennerová)
Patients queue for medicine at a pharmacy in a community clinic in Senegal. (Photo by Nana Kofi Acquah)
Guys joke and tease each other while taking a quick break from work. They both work in a busy flour mill in Bukavu town. Bukavu, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. (Photo by Jana Ašenbrennerová)
Two women selling locally made medicines pause with their hair braiding to advise traditional solutions for my ailments. (Photo by Yagazie Emezi)
Kids gather around for an evening of play in Monrovia, Liberia. (Photo by Yagazie Emezi)
Dozens of camels drink water from a trough in Kindjandi, Niger. (Photo by Jane Hahn)
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All images via Everyday Africa.