Photo archives in all its variations – private and public, small and big – are among the most important repositories of the African continent’s visual history. Sustainable measures for preserving and protecting the material these archives keep as well as access to the photographs in physical or digital form are the prerequisite for researching Africa’s rich photographic heritage. Archives themselves, on the other hand, need to be considered subjects of research in their own right.


In this department we aim to develop and coordinate strategies and projects for protecting and preserving photo archives and the material they keep, ensuring accessibility to and promoting research on the photographs as well as the respective associated social and professional practices.


African Photography Initiatives
Head of Department

African Photography Initiatives was founded in 2007 by Jürg Schneider and Rosario Mazuela. Since then it has developed and implemented various projects with the common goal of promoting and researching the African continent’s photographic heritage.