Another Africa

Overview

In Another Africa, renowned photographer Robert Lyons and internationally acclaimed author Chinua Achebe have joined together to explore the real Africa behind the stereotypes commonly held by Westerners. In a stunning series of photographs and poems, this work peels away myths to explore the complexity, diversity, and humanity of a place called Africa. The nuance and detail of Robert Lyon's elegantly intermingled still lifes, portraits, and landscapes reveal rich ambiguities and unique perspectives. Informed by ...
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Overview

In Another Africa, renowned photographer Robert Lyons and internationally acclaimed author Chinua Achebe have joined together to explore the real Africa behind the stereotypes commonly held by Westerners. In a stunning series of photographs and poems, this work peels away myths to explore the complexity, diversity, and humanity of a place called Africa. The nuance and detail of Robert Lyon's elegantly intermingled still lifes, portraits, and landscapes reveal rich ambiguities and unique perspectives. Informed by a discerning blend of candid observation and artistic imagination, these startlingly beautiful images record "the essential humanity and validity of the observed, and, if our hearts are open, the humanity and the validity of ourselves, the observers" (Artweek). The photographs take on another dimension in concert with the eye-opening essay and enchanting poems by Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian. A "magical writer - one of the greatest of the twentieth century" (Margaret Atwood), Achebe writes about Africa on its own terms, from within. With penetrating insight, he exposes a long history of distorted depictions of this extraordinary continent.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385490382
  • Publisher: Doubleday Religious Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/20/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ANCHOR
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 9.61 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Lyons's photographs have been exhibited widely in the United States, and his work is represented in a number of permanent collections, including those of the Polaroid Corporation and the Addison Gallery of American Art.  His other books are Gentlemen Photographers: The Work of Loring Underwood and William Wyman Underwood; Out of the Fire: Contemporary Glass Artists and Their Work; and Egyptian Time (with Naguib Mahfouz).  He lives in Seattle, Washington.  Chinua Achebe is a world-renowned author.  He has published novels, short stories, essays, and children's books.  His twentieth-century masterpiece, the novel Things Fall Apart (Anchor Books), has more than 8 million copies in print worldwide, in fifty different languages.  He lives in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
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Read an Excerpt

I will not mourn with you
your lost populations, the silent columns
of your fief erased
from the king's book of numbers

For in your house of stone
by the great road
you listened once to refugee voices
at dawn telling of massacres and plagues
in their land across seven rivers

Like a hornbill in flight
you tucked in your slippered feet
from the threshold
out of their beseeching gaze

But a pestilence father
than faraway tales of dawn
had bought a seat in Ogun's reckless
chariot and knocks by nightfall
on your iron gate.

Take heart oh chief; decimation
by miscount, however grievous,
is a happy retreat from bolder uses
of the past. Take heart, C
for these scribal flourishes
behind smudged entries, these
trophied returns of clerical headhunters
can never match the quiet flow
of red blood.

But if my grudging comfort fail,
then take this long and even view to AD 2000
when the word is due to go out again
and--depending on which Caesar
order the count--new conurbations
may sprout in today's wastelands,
and thriving cities dissolve
in sudden mirages

and the ready-reckoners at court
will calculate their gain
and our loss, and make us
any-number-of-million-they-like strong!

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