Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography features approximately 250 works by 30 artists from across the African continent. The book presents a range of highly individual artistic responses to the unprecedented changes now taking place in the economic, social, and cultural spheres of African nations and provides new insight into the increasing role of the visual arts within the global cultural community. In addition to introducing audiences to the multiple imaginations and voices that constitute today’s African artists, the book will explore the way that this body of photo-based art arises from the dialectic of traditional African aesthetic values and Western influences.
Contemporary African photography has emerged during a period of significant historical and social change, including the post-World War II de-colonization movements, the quest for independent national identity, and the effects of globalization and modernity. Snap Judgments explores African photography in terms of content and style, organized into four main thematic groups that reflect the issues addressed by African artists today–landscape; urban formations; the body and identity; and history and representation — around which Africa’s experimental artists have articulated individual artistic styles and languages.
The book was written and edited by Nigerian independent curator and art historian Okwui Enwezor, who is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on contemporary African art. It includes an additional essay by art historian Colin Richard, an appendix on recent exhibitions of African photography, artist bios, and a general bibliography.