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28 October 2014
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Central Douala, Cameroon
Central Douala, Cameroon

The Other Africa

By Philippe Sibelly, Guest Contributor
Photographer Philippe Sibelly is on a mission to create an exibition of 53 images of Africa - one for each country. He talks us through his work and African experience so far...

The Other Africa is a photographic project I am developing across Africa.  My aim is to create a 53 images exhibition: one photograph from each African country. 

"Hot, humid and rough, Douala is a great place if you look for adventure. "
Philippe Sibelly

All the photographs follow three main themes: portraits of African workers from an emerging middle class, night scenes using light as a metaphor for modernity and portraits of DJs, emphasising the importance of oral culture on the continent (and maybe one day decorate Pinash's studio!).

So far, I have visited six countries, Cape Verde first, hopping from island to island, enjoying Cap Verdian music in Mindelo and "grilled langosta" in Santo Antao. 

Take a look at a selection of Philippe's photos...

Next was Mauritania, where I was given access to the roof of the highest building in Nouakchott, from where I could photograph the town at night. 

A quick drive South across the dunes and it was Senegal, relaxing first in St Louis, before Dakar. 

New Africa

For the next trip I landed in Douala, Cameroon.  I discovered a totally new Africa: the Equatorial one. 

Franky Obiang, Radio DJ in Gabon
Franky Obiang, Radio DJ in Gabon

Hot, humid and rough, Douala is a great place if you look for adventure.  It was also a great place to photograph at night, as it is big and busy. 

I travelled by train to Yaounde, perched on rolling hills, relaxing and cool. 

Next was Gabon, Oyem first, then glitzy Libreville.  This has been the best place to photograph as it is a modern and busy city.  Taking photos in a fitness club there was a great experience. 

From Libreville I flew to Sao Tome and landing there was a highlight.  Photographing modernity in Sao Tome proved quite difficult, but people were very friendly and helpful.

Not taking so many pictures also enabled me to make the most of the two local specialities: chocolate and white sand beaches!

Philippe is an occasional guest on BBC Leicester's Into Africa on Sundays, 20:00-22:00

last updated: 16/02/07
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