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Photographers use Instagram to paint more complete picture of life in Africa

Instead of focusing on only hardships, a group of photographers living and working in Africa have started an Instagram campaign to show the rest of the world what life in Africa is really like. Saskia de Melker reports.

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  • SASKIA DE MELKER:

    A woman hanging laundry in Uganda. Young men at a barbershop in Ghana. Cheerleaders at a Zimbabwe soccer match. These are the images that photographer Nana Kofi Acquah says journalists rarely document during their assignments across Africa.

  • NOA KOFI ACQUAH:

    Traditionally, if you send a journalist, photojournalist, writer, you gave them an assignment: Go and photograph famine in Sudan. So when they arrive in Sudan, their camera bag is packed until they see the first malnourished child, that's when they see their story. Everything else doesn't matter.

  • SASKIA DE MELKER:

    But Acquah is one of a core group of about twenty photojournalists from across the continent who share candid images of the mundane and the normal. These images are part of an Instagram-based project started by two photojournalists in 2012 called 'Everyday Africa.'

    It's now funded by organizations including the Pulitzer Center and Open Society Foundation and it has attracted over 100,000 followers.

  • NANA KOFI ACQUAH:

    Everyday Africa is a realistic portrayal of Africa. People see a photo of my kids playing with an iPad and they're like 'kids in africa have iPads?' and that is the discourse we need to have.

  • SASKIA DE MELKER:

    The project isn't necessarily about taking attention away from Africa's hardships, says Acquah, but rather painting a more complete picture of the African experience.

  • NANA KOFI ACQUAH:

    I'm not an advocate for pushing only positive images because that becomes propaganda. That is not what we need, but in the bigger scale of things, the positives, the laughter, the warmness, the humanity, the joy, the experiences far outweigh the negatives.

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