Guest Project Shortlist 10.23.14: Salym Fayad - Africa, photography and the digital era

© Sahel Digital Art

Project Shortlists share recommended portfolios, sites, and projects. A recommendation does not mean more than that - just a recommended look. These shortlists are archived on the site links page.

Today's guest for Project Shortlist is Salym Fayad.

Salym Fayad is an independent reporter and documentary photographer from Bogota, Colombia based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has traveled the African continent reporting on issues related to popular culture and music, migration, conflict and human rights. His articles and photographs have appeared in El Tiempo, Arcadia Magazine, Semana, El Malpensante, Gatopardo, The Sunday Times, Mail & Guardian, Southern Pulse Magazine, Agence France-Presse and Libération.

Nataly Castaño helped organize this post.

© Paul Sika

Paul Sika – At The Heart Of Me

Inspired by the esthetics of comic books, video games, sci-fi films and Japanese animation, "photomaker" Paul Sika from Cote d’Ivoire creates theatrical images depicting African urban scenes that he describes as "one-frame films." Influenced by pop icons ranging from Andy Warhol and David LaChapelle to Ivoirian footballer Didier Drogba, Sika composes psychedelic, digitally-intervened Technicolor series that he complements with written entries in his digital book At The Heart of Me: The logbook of a joyful dreamer.

Instagraming Everyday Africa

Instagram project Everyday Africa uses the photo-sharing platform to challenge stereotypical and one-dimensional perceptions of the African continent often portrayed by Western media. Through a network of contributors including foreign correspondents and African photographers such as Nana Kofi Acquah and Andrew Esiebo (also known for his series of barbershops in West Africa), the project brings together mobile and street photography and social media to disseminate vignettes of ordinary life captured in different parts of urban and rural Africa.

© François Beaurain

François Beaurain – Monrovia animated

The surroundings of the once luxurious and now derelict Ducor Hotel in Monrovia, Liberia, provide the location for the animated GIFs of French photographer François Beaurain. The cyclical motion of his models, infinitely multiplied, brings the abandoned building back to life and offers a warm and often humorous view of Liberia's capital, while it traps the spectator's eye through the hypnotic effect of animated images in perpetual repetition.

© Sahel Digital Art

Sahel Digital Art

Mobile and web-based applications for graphic design and lo-fi image manipulation have allowed Sahel's cellphone users to reimagine themselves in apocalyptic scenarios, with robotic limbs or surrounded by wild animals or stacks of cash. The trend, which has been documented by ethnomusicologist Christopher Kirkley, has also allowed Tuareg separatists to create a digital world in which their unrecognized state of Azawad in northern Mali has an airline, a football team and even a seat at the United Nations.

© Sahel Digital Art

© Mutua Matheka

Mutua Matheka – Nairobi City

Nairobi's skyline, framed by dramatic dawns and sunsets, headlights and city lights (and a fair amount of Photoshopping) compose Mutua Matheka's vibrant cityscapes of the Kenyan capital. The images are Matheka's answer to the often exaggerated glow of first-world cities' postcards. Yet he argues that the pictures were not taken "to change the perception of foreigners" about the city, but for Kenyans themselves.