Ffotogallery Cardiff is showing a first of its kind exhibition of African photography

The exhibition explores different perspectives from across the continent and is the first such photography collection in Cardiff to have an African woman curating

Cynthia MaiWa Sitei next to African Photography in Cardiff
Cynthia MaiWa Sitei, curator Ffotogallery in Cardiff, is the organiser of the exhibition

Part of the Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Photography & Africa series, More than a number is an exhibition showcasing “exceptional” photography from across Africa, according to the exhibition’s curator, Cynthia MaiWa Setei. The show includes work by Amina Kadous, Brian Otieno, Nana Kofi Acquah, Salih Basheer, Tom Saater and others. 

Split into three themes, the exhibition – at Ffotogallery’s Cathays art space – features photographers who use archive material, like family photos and letters, to examine “material culture,” representations of “fearlessness,” and explorations of diverse African identities.

Setei says that her goals as the curator of the exhibition are both to communicate her perspective as an African woman and make sure that the artists’ voices are heard. “It’s not easy to get an African woman to showcase photography from African photographers in Wales for a white audience,” she says. She believes that in past presentations of African photography, “Curators tend to curate for other curators, and when that happens, sometimes the artists’ voices are diminished.” The exhibition is an attempt to rectify that – whilst giving Welsh audiences the opportunity to see the results of this unique exhibition.  

The exhibition also offers historical perspectives on events like the Rwandan genocide in 1994 and one Egyptian family’s experiences in the 20th and into the 21st century as a part of the strand exploring “Material Culture.” Cerys Thomas, Development Officer for Arts Council of Wales, says one aim of the exhibition was to “focus on exploring our thinking of Africa caught between modernity and tradition.”  

Director of photography at Ffotogallery David Drake is keen to point out the universality of the exhibition. “The experience isn’t about the ‘exoticism’ of Africa at all – it’s about the human condition and how people express themselves through photography,”  he says.

More than a number runs until 11 December at Ffotogallery, Cardiff.

View some images of Ffotogallery Cardiff’s exhibition here: