Africa State of Mind gathers together the work of an emergent generation of photographers from across Africa, including both the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. It is both a summation of new photographic practice from the last decade and an exploration of how contemporary photographers from the continent are exploring ideas of ‘Africanness’ to reveal Africa to be a psychological space as much as a physical territory – a state of mind as much as a geographical place.
Dispensing with the western colonial view of Africa in purely geographic or topographic terms, Ekow Eshun presents Africa State of Mind in four thematic parts: Hybrid Cities; Inner Landscapes; Zones of Freedom; and Myth and Memory. Each theme, introduced by a text by Eshun, presents selections of work by a new wave of African photographers who are looking both outward and inward: capturing life among the sprawling cities and multitudinous conurbations of the continent, turning the legacy of the continent’s history into the source of resonant new myths and dreamscapes and exploring questions of gender, sexuality and identity. Each of the photographers seeks to capture the experience of what it means, and how it feels, to live in Africa today.