In early 2012, photographer Peter DiCampo and writer Austin Merrill decided to take a stand against the cliché worldview of the African continent. Tired of the extremes, the pair launched an initiative that would show Africa in its naturally beautiful light instead of war, poverty and disease-ridden communities. Together, DiCampo and Merrill started a blog called Everyday Africa to begin a new wave of media covering one of the Earth’s most important continents and countries.
“As journalists who are native to Africa or have lived and worked on the continent for years at a time, we find the extreme not nearly as prevalent as the familiar, the everyday.”
Growing up, I never had a car come pick me up after school, I would walk to school and back. It was by far my favorite moments I truly cherished. Just being out of class and with your best friends walking back home. We would always fool around, go buy ice-cream and just wonder the streets. This moment reminds me of that time. ⠀ Photograph by @sam.vox ⠀ #Zanzibar #tanzania #africa #girls #playful #streets #fun #moments #everydayeverywhere #everydayafrica #samvox
Months passed as the project continued, drawing a moderate amount of support but never breaking through to the mainstream media like DiCampo and Merrill had hoped. At least, until the project found a home on Instagram.
In record time, the Everyday Africa account gained hundreds of thousands of eager followers, all clamouring for a look into a world many in the West have no understanding of. The slice-of-life photographs offer a window into the soul of the African continent; a rich and vibrant culture with incredible history and even more fantastic diversity.
Capturing The True Africa
A photo posted by Everyday Africa (@everydayafrica) on
From Cairo to Johannesburg, the Everyday Africa project has since spread across the world to other locales often misunderstood by stereotypes and assumptions. The franchise is more of a grass-roots effort by locals to present their communities for what they really are: not all that different from your own.
The project relies on volunteer photographers that have only one caveat to remember: all photos must be taken with a mobile phone. The rest can speak for itself.