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Bar Beach Victoria Island, Lagos
From the series Sea Never Dry
Courtesy of artist Akinbode Akinbiyi
SITE 5: Dorpsteeg
Stellebosch Outdoor Photography Exhibition Icon


Akinbiyi has been a freelance photographer since 1977, a curator, and a writer. Born in Nigeria, he is currently based in Berlin. He works primarily in the four major African cities Lagos, Cairo, Kinshasa, and Johannesburg, but also resided in cities like Addis Ababa, Bamako, Dakar, Khartoum, and several European, North, and South American cities. He wanders the streets in an attempt to understand and deeply engage with these modern metropolises. 

“Photographs are static, but they hold the potential to capture movement – a potential that Akinbode Akinbiyi employs. Figures fly through his frames – horses gallop, people saunter, buildings rise up into the sky as the landscapes that surround them shift and change in a constant cycle of renewal” – Hannah Abel Hirsch. Akinbiyi’s fascination with documenting the seemingly mundane, everyday ebb and flow of urban life is unmatched. He was part of a group exhibition at MOMA in New York, which opened in May 2023.


Freedom, I dream up for myself and others.
Inkululeko, ndiphuphela mna nabanye.
Vryheid, ek droom vir myself en ander.

Freedom, I dream up for myself and others, is an exploration of a visual language that bridges gaps between cultures, creates understanding, and inspires empathy and connection. This photographic presentation transcends language barriers and allows people to convey ideas and concepts using imagery and visual cues.


The works selected in this exhibition are intended to be more mindful of the subtleties of our dreams and how we view the world. The works are intended to resonate with us all, and with the medium of photography it does so in its purest form, it does not distort.


Photography is a tool that never warps or ages. This medium teaches us to look, to look again, and to do so harder. This visual universal language has the ability to change perception, encourage understanding, and create a sense of urgency when needed. It has been the reason to incite human action and at other times to inspire human connection.


This exhibition explores the Masters of Photography who draw inspiration from the African continent. It encourages the audience to foster meaningful dialogue in investigating the archive. The artists have pushed boundaries within the medium of photography and created works that have stood the test of time. Archives are not just windows into the past, they are the authentic creations of individual people who lived before us and still live among us. They are the archaeology that was never buried.


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