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Three Photographers/Six Cities
April 30, 2016 - September 25, 2016
Zola, Soweto
Zola, Soweto, 2006
Ananias Léki Dago, Ivorian, born 1970
From the series Shebeen Blues
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy of the artist. © Ananias Léki Dago
Three Photographers/Six Cities
April 30, 2016 - September 25, 2016
Experience six African cities through the work of three extraordinary photographers.

This exhibition offers an in-depth look at three photographers who create powerful pictures of African cities: Cairo, Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg, Bamako, and Tombouctou. From Akinbode Akinbiyi’s observation of urban centers and Seydou Camara’s examination of Islamic manuscripts to Ananias Léki Dago’s pictures of offbeat locales, the images in this exhibition offer unique perspectives on contemporary African experience.

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Akinbode Akinbiyi

Nigerian, born England 1946, lives in Berlin, Germany
Akinbode Akinbiyi’s photographs reveal patterns of contemporary daily life alongside deeper layers of time. An active photographer since the 1970s, he has long focused on African cities, in particular Lagos, Nigeria; Cairo, Egypt; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Johannesburg, South Africa. This exhibition includes a selection of his photographs of Lagos and Cairo.

Seydou Camara

Malian, born 1983, lives in Bamako, Mali
Seydou Camara is a warm but keen-eyed documentarian. From 2009 to 2013 he photographed manuscripts in Tombouctou, Mali, a centuries-old trading city and center of Islamic scholarship and book production. He recorded the fragile texts as well as efforts to conserve and transcribe them, mixing those pictures with views of the ancient town.

Ananias Léki Dago

Ivorian, born 1970, lives in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Léki identifies offbeat elements of place—for example, sheet metal structures in Nairobi, Kenya, or illegal nightclubs called shebeens in Johannesburg, South Africa—as the basis for his series. The recipient of numerous prizes and residencies, he has published several books about his work. This exhibition features Léki’s photographs of Johannesburg, Nairobi, and Bamako.


Three Photographers/Six Cities is offered in conjunction with Creative Africa, a season devoted to African art and design. Share your experience #CreativeAfrica @philamuseum.

Spotify Playlist*

We asked the artists featured in this exhibition to recommend some of their favorite African music. Enjoy their picks and share with your friends.
* A free Spotify account is required to access this playlist.


Peter Barberie, The Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center


Julien Levy Gallery, first floor, Perelman Building