In Double Exposures, Cameroonian artist Ethel-Ruth Tawe responds to Africa in the Photobook, a platform and collection initiated by photographer and (photo)historian Ben Krewinkel. The platform is concerned with changing visual representation of Africa as expressed through the medium of the photobook. The artist and collector investigate the tensions which lie within the folds of pages, the afterlives of images, their captions, and contexts, paying particular attention to books from the 1880s to 1990s. From the early use of propaganda in a troubling colonial archive, to postcolonial technologies of self-expression and double consciousness, these works ask questions with care about the lens from which photobooks are read today, bending their chronological timeline to extrapolate and reframe. The exhibition unfolds as a prelude to a contributor essay in Krewinkel’s forthcoming book.

Ethel-Ruth Tawe (b. YaoundĂ©, Cameroon) is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, curator and creative strategist exploring memory and identity in Africa and its diaspora. Image-making, storytelling, and time-travelling compose the framework of her inquiry. Ethel examines space and time-based technologies often from a surrealist lens. Her burgeoning curatorial practice took form in an inaugural exhibition titled ‘African Ancient Futures’, and continues to expand in a myriad of audiovisual experiments. She is recipient of the Magnum Foundation 2022 Counter Histories Grant Program for her project ‘Image Frequency Modulation’.
Ben Krewinkel (NL 1975) studied history (specialisation modern African history). He wrote a thesis on the role women played in the liberation struggle of Mozambique. After studying in Amsterdam and Pretoria, he studied documentary photography at the Fotoacademie in Amsterdam graduating with a series on nurses combating HIV in Venda, South Africa. He published two photobooks titled A Possible Life. (2012) and Looking for M. (2014). He holds a M.A. Photographic Studies at the University of Leiden and wrote his second thesis on the photographic representation of the ‘Poor Whites’ in South Africa. Currently he teaches photography at the HU University of Applied Sciences / Media Institute and is working on the publication Africa in the Photobook (working title).


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