Africa is a Great Country
Photographer and film-maker Jens Assur depicts urban Africa and challenges our preconceptions with highly topical photographic works, in an art project with the ironic title Africa is a Great Country. The exhibition will be on show at the Museum of World Culture during spring and summer 2014. "We're constantly being fed an image of how Africa is dying," explains Assur. "I want to show how Africa is thriving."
Jens Assur, one of Sweden's top award-winning photographers and film-makers, has visited twelve African cities with the aim of challenging the dominant media reporting on Africa and presenting a completely different picture of the continent instead. An Africa that is progressing and developing at a record pace, with countries that top the list of the world's fastest growing nations.
"I've chosen exciting cities where growth and development can be seen clearly. One example is Kigali in Rwanda, which is associated in most people's minds with the genocide of 1994. Today, the city is almost like a cross between Beverly Hills and Switzerland – prosperous, orderly and green. Or Gaborone in Botswana, a country that conjures up images of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, with its red earth roads and its picturesque landscape. You could take a slice of the city and put it down in Los Angeles, and no-one would notice the difference."
Through 40 photographs measuring 2.5 x 3.5 metres, Assur presents a portrait of hyper-urbanisation, a burgeoning middle class and the architecture, expansion and colossal infrastructure of these enormous metropolises. Thanks to the incredible scope and precision of the large-format camera, the visitor is taken on a journey to the streets of Dar es Salaam, the new residential districts of Kigali and an amusement park in Gaborone.
Alongside the images, the visitor can also hear the words of some of Africa's leading writers, journalists, bloggers and opinion-makers.
The exhibition has previously been displayed at Liljevalchs Konsthall in Stockholm and Värmlands Museum in Karlstad, and will also be visiting three African capitals during 2014.
Find out more about Jens Assur and his various projects at Studio Jens Assur's website (opens in a new window).
Opens: 17 January 2014
Ends: 31 August 2014
Admission: SEK 40 (annual ticket), free entry for under 19s
Opening hours: Tue - Fri 12:00-17:00, Sat-Sun 11:00-17:00. Closed Mondays.
Download the app "Africa is a Great County" for iPhone and Android. With the app, you can listen to the words of some of Africa's leading writers, journalists, bloggers and opinion-makers ( in both English and Swedish).