Open Call: EYE TOK SAY…

The EYE TOK SAY… Abakwa Photography Project (APP) is a participatory initiative that aims to build a non-profit, community photography archive of Bamenda, the third largest urban centre and birthplace of democracy in Cameroon. In building this photography archive, we strive towards documenting Bamenda’s dynamic history, as well as its contemporary, while capturing and celebrating its vibrant grassland culture, its resilient spirit and its optimism for a better tomorrow. For almost five years now, this region full of diverse peoples, cultures and breathtaking landscapes has undergone and is still undergoing drastic transformations due to numerous struggles and uprisings that have left the whole region physically, spiritually and culturally scarred and violated and no longer recognisable to those who call it home. The APP hopes through its platform to give the communities in this region the opportunity to “creatively” document these changes while preserving and exploring their collective memories and imagining a promising future. The project is inviting people from all walks of life to tell their stories visually with and through photos from multiple perspectives, which will be made accessible to the public through a digital and physical archive hosted in Bamenda. People can contribute archival or current photographs that in one way or the other deal with or have Bamenda as a point of departure or reference.

Why photography? Historically, photography has been a tool of reflection and mediator of certain realities. The photographer is a witness to certain occurrences, and photography as a documentation there of. For better or for worse, photography can be an embodiment of memory. It can perform memory. It can both remember and re-member, i.e. remind and connect to a certain past, as much as it can recollect and piece dislocated and erased histories together. With photography and photographic accounts, one can recover or establish a sense of beauty, a sense of aesthetics, a sense of being in the world and even pride and dignity – historically and in the present. Photography plays a role in the construction of, definition of and imagination of identities through imagery.

We invite you to contribute actively, critically and creatively to building this archive. Here is how you can participate:

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