In and Out of Focus: Images from Central Africa, 1885-1960

December 6, 2002 – March 16, 2003

National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC

Sublevel 2

See on Map Floor Plan

Through approximately 200 photographs, this exhibition examines how widely disseminated images by Euro-American photographers created and perpetuated ideas and sentiments about the peoples of central Africa who lived under colonial rule. Among the featured photographers is Casimir Zagourski (1883-1944). In addition, the exhibition explores the role Africans played in the photographic encounters. In some instances, they were active participants, "performing" for the cameras and developing strategies to meet the photographers' demands. Africans also frequented photographic studios and took up photography to demonstrate their modernity.