Een weblog van Ben Krewinkel waarop fotoboeken besproken worden. Nieuwe, maar vooral oude en niet altijd de meest makkelijk verkrijgbare.  

Recently Yaa Addae wrote the beautiful article 'Technology on Loop: An alternative history of algorithms through Double Exposures' about the exhibition I made in collaboration with artist Ethel Tawe for PhotoIreland in Dublin.

In Double Exposures, Cameroonian artist Ethel-Ruth Tawe responds to Africa in the Photobook, a platform and collection initiated by photographer and (photo)historian Ben Krewinkel. The platform is concerned with changing visual representation of Africa as expressed through the medium of the photobook. The artist and collector investigate the tensions which lie within the folds of pages, the afterlives of images, their captions, and contexts, paying particular attention to books from the 1880s to 1990s. From the early use of propaganda in a troubling colonial archive, to postcolonial technologies of self-expression and double consciousness, these works ask questions with care about the lens from which photobooks are read today, bending their chronological timeline to extrapolate and reframe. The exhibition unfolds as a prelude to a contributor essay in Krewinkel’s forthcoming book.

Ethel-Ruth Tawe (b. Yaoundé, Cameroon) is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, curator and creative strategist exploring memory and identity in Africa and its diaspora. Image-making, storytelling, and time-travelling compose the framework of her inquiry. Ethel examines space and time-based technologies often from a surrealist lens. Her burgeoning curatorial practice took form in an inaugural exhibition titled ‘African Ancient Futures’, and continues to expand in a myriad of audiovisual experiments. She is recipient of the Magnum Foundation 2022 Counter Histories Grant Program for her project ‘Image Frequency Modulation’.Ben Krewinkel (NL 1975) studied history (specialisation modern African history). He wrote a thesis on the role women played in the liberation struggle of Mozambique. After studying in Amsterdam and Pretoria, he studied documentary photography at the Fotoacademie in Amsterdam graduating with a series on nurses combating HIV in Venda, South Africa. He published two photobooks titled A Possible Life. (2012) and Looking for M. (2014). He holds a M.A. Photographic Studies at the University of Leiden and wrote his second thesis on the photographic representation of the ‘Poor Whites’ in South Africa. Currently he teaches photography at the HU University of Applied Sciences / Media Institute and is working on the publication Africa in the Photobook (working title).

In April I will be part of the second Leipzig Photobook Festival.

The focus will be on photobooks from African countries, as African photobooks are still little known in the photobook landscape in Europe and are only sporadically available on the European market, yet they are a very interesting and booming phenomenon. To this end, there will be panel discussions, presentations and three exhibitions - two photo book and one photography exhibition. 

We will also host talks, book presentations, portfolio reviews, a speed dating event, and a get-together.

The Leipzig Photobook Festival is an international festival that presents and celebrates the potential of the photobook medium in a contemporary context. We want to entertain, stimulate and change the view on photobooks.

Direction: Calin Kruse and Silvia Gaetti.
The festival is organized by dienacht e.V. and the GRASSI Museum for Applied Arts in Leipzig.

Photobook Market
More than 25 publishers and photographers from Germany and all over Europe will be presenting themselves at the photo book market on April 29 and 30 from 10 am to 6 pm. 

Exhibition: African Photobook of the Year Awards
The Eiger Foundation African Photobook of the Year Awards is an annual prize for the best photographic publication by a photographer originating from or working in Africa. All shortlisted titles and the winners will be presented during the Leipzig Photobook Festival.

The Eiger Foundation, based in Geneva, Switzerland, was founded by South African photographer Roger Ballen and works closely with the Inside Out Centre for the Arts in Johannesburg / South Africa to promote African photography and other art forms through exhibitions, educational programs, competitions and creative exchanges.

Exhibition: Africa in the Photobook
Africa in the Photobook is a collection of photography books initiated in 2015 by Dutch photographer and (photo) historian Ben Krewinkel. The ever-growing collection includes books published by African artists or in African countries, but also focuses on books published outside the continent by non-African photographers. Ben Krewinkel himself is currently working on a book about African photography books. An exhibition will feature a selection of 20-25 titles for the public to browse and experience. 

Ben Krewinkel will be present and available for questions and conversation.

Exhibition: CAP Prize
The Contemporary African Photography Award - CAP Prize - aims to raise the profile of African photography in the arts and encourage a rethinking of the image of Africa. Each year, five winners are selected by an international jury to promote African photography worldwide. 

The five winners will be exhibited in the Museum's courtyard from April 24 - May 7, 2023.

Launched in 2012 by Benjamin Füglister, the CAP Prize is awarded at major international photography exhibitions and festivals worldwide. Benjamin Füglister will be present and available for questions and discussions.


I wrote an article for PhotoResearcher magazine dedicated to Photobooks as Propaganda. I wrote an article on the propagandabook A Spear for Freedom (c. 1942/1944) which analyses how two versions of a photobook were produced for an European or an African audience.

This year I was invited to join a judging panel of three organisations this year dealing with African photography and or photobooks.

The international CAP Prize for contemporary African Photography (you can see the winners here)

The Eiger Foundation African Photobook of the Year Awards initiated by Roger Ballen

10x10 Photobooks Research Grants of Photobook History

Happy to announce Africa in the Photobook 
Press release:

Nous avons le plaisir de présenter l’exposition RÉSISTANCE VISUELLE GÉNÉRALISÉE. LIVRES DE PHOTOGRAPHIE ET MOUVEMENTS DE LIBÉRATION (ANGOLA, MOZAMBIQUE, GUINÉÉ-BISSAU, CAP-VERT) à l'Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA), à Paris.

Entre le 24 novembre 2021 et le 15 janvier 2022, vous y trouverez des livres de photographie, des documents d’archives et des oeuvres d’Ana Hatherly, Augusta Conchiglia, Daniel BarrocaFilipa César et Sónia Vaz Borges, Sarah Maldoror et Welket Bungué, entre autres.Commissaires d’exposition : Catarina Boieiro et Raquel Schefer.Institut national d'histoire de l'art - Salle Roberto Longhi2 rue Vivienne 75002 ParisAccès libre et gratuitDu mardi au samedi, de 14h00 à 19h00Cette exposition est accueillie dans le cadre du programme “Sismographie des luttes - Vers une histoire globale des revues critiques et culturelles”, du domaine "Histoire de l'art mondialisée" dirigé par Zahia Rahmani. Avec le soutien de la Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian - Délégation en France, dans le cadre du programme "Expositions Gulbenkian pour soutenir l'art portugais au sein d'institutions artistiques françaises".Ce projet a bénéficié du soutien à la recherche et à la création- INSTITUT POUR LA PHOTOGRAPHIE 2019.Scénographie : Amanda Antunes.Graphisme : Schefer Furtado (Ana Schefer et Teo Furtado).Nous remercions tout particulièrement Ben Krewinkel, l’Association Memoria Viva / Mémoire ViveMaria Do Carmo Piçarra et José da Costa Ramos, Ginette LavigneNataša Petrešin BachelezHugo Dos Santos et Luís Alves de Matos
See less
— with Catarina Boieiro.

Recently I was interviewed by Federica Belli for Musée


On October 21st I will present Africa in the Photobook as part of the program Fragilidade e transitoriedade at the Instituto Português de Fotografia in Porto.

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook


We are excited to announce that from June 1 until July 1 the ISSP Gallery will host the SELF PUBLISH RIGA 2021 exhibition, dedicated to photobooks and self-publishing, one of the main events of Riga Photomonth.

The 2021 edition will be dedicated to travelling the world through books (in times when the freedom of travelling has been limited) and will feature around 150 photobooks: the 2020 Paris Photo – Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, Africa in the Photobook (curated by Ben Krewinkel), Nordic Dummy Award (curated by Antonio Cataldo and Adrià Julià) and Latvian (curated by Evita Goze), Lithuanian (curated by Paul Paper), Estonian (curated by Kulla Laas) photobooks, best photobook dummies submitted to the SELF PUBLISH RIGA open call and the installation Glass Strenči in a few words by Anna Volkova and Aleksejs Muraško.
SELF PUBLISH RIGA is organised by ISSP since 2014, programme curator – Evita Goze.
During the exhibition, we will announce the winners of the SELF PUBLISH RIGA 2021 open call.

Watch the video see the tour hosted by Evita Goze 

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook

 In March and April I gave two talks about Africa in the Photobook. The link to the talks will follow soon.

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook

Sunday December 6th I was interviewed by Azu Nwagbogu at ParisPhoto 2020. You can view the whole conversation on Delpire&Co's YouTube page

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook


Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook

The upcoming issue of The PhotoBook Review (Aperture / Delpire & Co.) contains the conversation I had with Azu Nwagbogu on Africa in the Photobook. You can read it here.

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook

This composite sketch contains all the close-up portraits A.M. Duggan-Cronin included the encyclopaedic eleven-volume set The Bantu Tribes of South Africa. It is part of a small work I'm making for LagosPhoto that deal with several issues in the book collection Africa in the Photobook.
'But these pictorial records, though of considerable ethnological value, had their limitations in that they were mostly portrait studies, and studies moreover of native males only.'
- From the general introduction to the first volume of The Bantu Tribes of South Africa (1928-1954)
'The dignity and the individuality of of the people who chose to stand in front of Duggan-Cronin's camera shine out.'
- From the introduction written by Nelson Mandela to the exhibition 'Compound to Kraal', May 2001
'By the early decades of the twentieth century, a quarter million Africans laboured in South African mines, producing forty percent of the world's gold and the lion's share of its diamond. This was hardly the forest primeval conjured in Dark Continent travelogues. Despite these facts - or perhaps because of them - the image of Africans as traditional folk, clinging to their tribal traditions, retained a deep hold on the white South African imagination.'
- From The Black Photo Album by Santu Mofokeng


Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook

On May 17th I was invited by Yumi Goto and Moto Yoshikuni to have an online conversation at the Reminders Photography Stronghold in Tokio about the project Africa in the Photobook.

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook

Recently I've been working to help Omar Badsha with his great initiative South African History Online'to add titles to a list of photobooks from South Africa. Especially on titles produced before the 1950s. The earliest book I could find was produced in 1861 made by Joseph Kirkman and was titled "The Progress of his Royal Highness Prince Alfred Ernest Albert through the Cape Colony, British Kaffraria, the Orange Free State, and Port Natal, in the year 1860". The book contains tipped in photographs and 9 woodcuts Charles Davidson Bell. The most interesting photo shows Moshoeshoe I King Moshoeshoe or Moshesh (c. 1786 – 11 March 1870) of the Basotho people of Lesotho with his ministers.

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook

From November 14th till Februari 23rd 2019 Fotodok shows the group exhibition Joint Memory: Photographic Fragments shows. Among many other beautiful projects, it hosts the first exhibition that followed from collecting and researching photobooks from and about Africa. 
For the exhibition, I selected books from Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau, which is just a fragment of the whole collection and research. All of these countries were leading liberation wars against Portugal between the 1960s and early 1970s. After gaining independence in 1975, civil wars broke out in Angola and Mozambique. Photobooks, magazines, and other photography based printed matter were key propaganda tools. Produced in large print runs, publications were supposed to agitate the masses. Three main perspectives feature in the installation’s publications: the local national parties, the Portuguese, and those of foreign journalists. The books, each having unique features, also share a lot in common regarding how they use photography, what stories they choose to tell, and what visual language they choose for that. Recurrent motifs show how photography is used in the photobook form to create a shared vision of how events unfolded.All the books on display are shown until February 2019 on the special Fotodok page of the website www.africainthephotobook.com.All installation shots © Studio Hans Wilschut

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook

On October 12th I will give an informal talk on books made by the liberation movements in Portuguese Africa as part of a performance/talk by Catarina Boieiro and Rachel Schafer. The venue will be Institut pour la Photographie in Lille (France). Check here for more information.'Livres de photographie et mouvements de libération en AfriqueEntre le document militant et l’objet esthétique, les livres de photographie réalisés autour des années 1970 dans les pays africains de langue portugaise sur – et pour – les mouvements indépendantistes posent une réflexion singulière sur le rôle et la puissance de l’image photographique. Ce projet vise à retracer le parcours de ce corpus, à travers une exposition, des rencontres et des films.Raquel Schefer est chercheuse, cinéaste et programmatrice. Docteure en Études cinématographiques et audiovisuelles de l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3. Elle a publié de nombreux ouvrages et articles et enseigne à Paris, Rennes, Buenos Aires et Mexico.Catarina Boieiro possède un Diplôme de Recherche en Arts et Langages de l’EHESS. Elle est commissaire indépendante et travaille parallèlement dans la communication, programmation et production au sein de centres d’art et événements culturels dédiés à l’image et aux arts visuels contemporains.'

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook

On September 21st I will give a talk at Dialogue Vintage Photography in Amsterdam.Check here for more info.

"De eerste (koloniale) fotoboeken gericht op een groot publiek verschenen in de laatste twee decennia van de 19e eeuw, het moment dat de Europese verovering van Afrika een beslissende fase inging. Tijdens de lezing zal Ben Krewinkel in het kader van zijn project Africa in the Photobook in vogelvlucht enkele exemplarische fotoboeken die verschenen tussen 1885 en 1960 bespreken. Deze boeken werpen licht op de wijze waarop fotoboeken mede bepalend zijn geweest voor de steeds veranderende beeldvorming over het continent. Er wordt stilgestaan bij de wijze waarop avonturiers, ambtenaren, militairen, missionarissen en zendelingen, etnografen en ondernemers, maar ook de lokale bevolking zelf, vanuit zowel overeenkomstige als uiteenlopende motieven tegemoet kwamen aan de fascinatie voor het exotische en onbekende bij het, hoofdzakelijk, Europese publiek en daarmee een bijdrage leverden bijdroegen een ernstig vertekend beeld van Afrika. "

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook

On February 28th the book Photobook Belge 1854-now edited by Tamara Berghmans will be published. I'm happy to have contributed by writing on ten books on Belgian Congo to which a whole chapter has been dedicated. You can order a copy here.On March 21st a symposium on the Belgium Photobook will be hosted in Antwerp at which I will be one of the speakers.

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook

I'm happy to announce that the Mondriaan Fund decided to accept the grant application for the research and writing process of Africa in the Photobook.  In the next year I can work on  research and write the manuscript for the first volume of Africa in the Photobook which is due to be published in 2020 by Fourthwall Books. At the same time research will be done for the second volume.

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook

Saturday 22 September 201812.00 - 13.30Ben Krewinkel (founder, Africa in the Photobook), Daniel Boetker-Smith  (founder, Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive) and Ángel Luis González (founder, PhotoIreland Foundation and the Mobile Library project) will each present four photobooks, two historical and two contemporary examples from regions of their focus. The audience will be able to engage with the physical copies of the books, while guests will also introduce the goals of their projects and the ways they research, collect, distribute and showcase publications. See more

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the PhotobookIn Memoriam: David Goldblatt (GUP Magazine)

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the PhotobookIn Memoriam: David Goldblatt (GUP Magazine)

On June 1st I gave a talk at the Fotobuch Festival in Kassel. Met very nice people who shared many great ideas to take the project Africa in the Photobook one step further. Next step will be doing some proper research on the collection.
©Thomas Wiegand
©John Gossage