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African Twilight: Special photo show in Nairobi

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By ALAN DONOVAN
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African Twilight, a two volume full colour coffee table book in a box cover, will be unveiled in Nairobi on December 16 at a special exhibition of a selection of the book’s photographs, at the Nairobi Gallery. The exhibition will run to March 15, 2019.

Compiled by photographers Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher, African Twilight captures age-old rituals and ceremonies performed by communities across all the regions of Africa.

The well-travelled photographers have produced 17 books on African culture, art and jewellery over the of 30 years they have been working together.

African Twilight is a full colour publication featuring over half a million photographs of ceremonies and rituals practised across the continent.

Because most of these ceremonies and rituals take place at specific times, seasons and some even once a decade, for example the age-group initiation ceremonies of the Maasai, the book took over a decade to compile.

The book is important for people who are interested in culture and customs, and may never witness some of these ceremonies in person because of either distance or logistical reasons.

It is a rich archive of homogeneous and indigenous ceremonies that mean a great deal to those that practise them even though it is just still photography.

And of course, no one knows how long these ceremonies will survive, as communities undergo rapid social changes across the world.

For Beckwith, a US citizen and Fisher, an Australian, photography became a powerful medium after their arrival in Africa.

African Twilight is their latest collaboration. Between them, they have also published other coffee table books: African Ark, Faces of Africa , African Ceremonies and Dinka. Individually they have published Africa Adorned (Beckwith); Maasai and Nomads of Niger (Fisher).



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