National Geographic’s new photography site recently interviewed the founders of Everyday Africa, Peter DiCampo and Austin Merrell. Everyday Africa is an Instagram account (@EverydayAfrica) that showcases photos of the lives of Africans. Unlike most media portrayals, these photos aren’t meant to be provocative or dramatic—instead they capture the simple, the mundane, and the extraordinary ordinaryness that is everyday life, no matter where you live. Weddings, bus rides, soccer games, shopping trips, and school days all give richness and texture to a continent we usually associate with violence and poverty. What a fascinating way to push back against stereotyping and provide an authentic, unfiltered (no pun intended) look into how other cultures live.
One of my favorite moments in the interview was Peter talking about how one Instagram account has basically kickstarted a global moment, and how other accounts for other continents are being formed:
JANNA: How did the new “Everyday” accounts get launched? Are you interacting with the people who run them?
PETER: There are several “official” new accounts: Everyday Asia, Everyday Middle East, and Everyday Eastern Europe. Those were all started by people who reached out to me and expressed an interest, as the regions they work in have similar issues of media stereotyping. We gave them some advice on getting started, choosing contributors from across their region, etc., and then promoted them together when they launched. There are numerous additional feeds that were launched by people we haven’t met, most of them country-specific (Brazil, Iran, Somalia, etc.), and these seem to range from professional photographers to people who simply liked our idea and ran with it despite being amateur photographers. I find it heartening—we’ve become a movement, and we love seeing how people want to change the representation of their region.
Definitely worth reading! Check it out over at Proof.