The first edition of “Africa Photo Festival” was held in August 25 and 26, 2018 at The National Black Theater in Harlem. It was an exposition of pictures taken by 15 local and international photographers.
“It is time for Africa to tell its story,” said Yemi Ojagbamila who is the curator and the promotor.
For two days, New Yorkers enjoyed not only photos taken in Africa but also pictures that tell stories of Africans living abroad or African diasporas.
If the pictures are telling Africa’ stories, the photographers are not from Africa alone. Some photographers for example are from Colombia, Italy, and Russia.
Photographers were able to tell the stories of Africa trough many topics. One of the topics was the dead. Joana Toro, a photographer from Columbia through the lens of her camera, tells the story of African diasporas in Colombia as they celebrated dead by beating on drums and playing music. According to Ms. Joana, drums announce both good and bad news.
Andrew Glazkov is a photographer from Russia. In his touristic trip to Tanzania and as he was walking on streets, he took pictures. “streets photographs,” he said. One of the pictures was about a young delivery boy who was riding his bicycle. Why did he decide to take that “unexpected” picture? “I saw myself in him,” he said. “I had a bike when I was a little boy.”
Mercedes A. Youman is a nurse in New York City and she likes photographs. she came to see pictures. “This is a childhood, it is like everybody,” she said as she was looking at the delivery boy with his bike.
She was also focused on a picture where three women were standing up; their faces were not visible. But one can see scars below their belly. “As a nurse when I saw this I was thinking they sterilized those women,” she said.
The “Africa Photo Festival New York” is a not profit created to promote local and international photographers from across the world on a global stage.
“This is privilege to say how to tell our stories,” Yemi concluded.