Everyday Africa: Stories Between the Headlines
In March 2012, two photojournalists — Peter DiCampo and Austin Merrill — decided in the middle of a project in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to begin a new, raw media outlet, which portrayed the mundane and casual life of everyday Africans on iPhones and Instagram. A year on, Everyday Africa curates photography from journalists across the continent, and they’re looking to involve locals, too. We spoke to Peter DiCampo to see why he think these images have captured our attention.
What made you decide to start Everyday Africa?
Austin Merrill and I were in Ivory Coast, and we were working on a very specific story on the aftermath of crisis and conflict there. He and I were both Peace Corps volunteers in west Africa, so we spent two years of our lives living in villages. We noticed all of these in-between, daily life, mundane moments, and we realized that, working as journalists, you don’t even shoot these moments. You edit them out ahead of time because they don’t fit into the story you’re trying to tell, which is kind of one of the funny parts about journalism: In some cases, it’s kind of preconceived. In order for a story to make sense, you have to look for certain things.
So we wanted to capture all these other things we were seeing as we went along, which is basically the stream of daily life. Of course “stream” is the key word, because the perfect way to shoot it and the perfect medium to share it is on places like Tumblr, and shooting it on a phone, casually. I think casual and mundane are the key words for this project.