“Faces of Africa”

Wodaabe Charm Dancer, Niger “A male charm dancer applies face makeup to attract the females who will judge his performance.” photographers Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher, writing in the book Faces of Africa

I picked up the book “Faces of Africa” during my recent trip in Netherlands. Saw it in a bookstore, flipped a few pages and completely fell in love with the photos but more than that with the narrative that went with the photos.

I have been enchanted with Africa and everything African since I was probably 6 or 7 and read about the Masai tribe in a book whose name I can’t remember. And that love affair reaffirmed itself when I finally landed on the continent itself last year. The beauty of Africa took my breath away and I came back, heels dragging, hopelessly in love with the land and yes even the people.

The writers/photographers – Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher – showcased 30 years of photography in this one book. It’s a treasure trove  of three decades of observation, recording and sharing in the lives of the traditional people across this vast and varied continent. While this book spans across countries and various tribes, it also brings them together in the shared value and common experience among these tribes. In places they have even compared their experience with African values against that of their western ones and deemed the earlier to be far more superior in several cases.

Dinka Man, Sudan “A Dinka elder’s pallid body, caked in ash, and his great height earned him the name ‘ghostly giant’ from early explorers into Sudan. Wise in the ways of cattle husbandry, he is one of the oldest herders in the cattle camp and is consulted on important issues of survival during the long dry season.” photographers Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher, writing in the book Faces of Africa

I am completely captivated by this book! The photos, the explanations, the experience recorded, I simply had to finish it cover to cover before I could lay it down again.

I sincerely urge you, if you are the type that goes “wow Africa!” and not “ewww, why Africa?” …. please go out and buy this book. They are donating a percentage of all sales proceed to helping tribes in Africa become more resilient to climate change.

Link to the book in Amazon.com


The other book that I would highly recommend is “African Ark: People & Ancient cultures of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa”. Once again stunning photographs with just enough narrative 🙂


Posted on May 5, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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