Another Africa: Photographs by Robert Lyons

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9780385490382: Another Africa: Photographs by Robert Lyons

Another Africa is a book that fuses photographs, poetry, and text to create a view of present-day Africa that moves beyond the stereotypes commonly held by most westerners: an open-air ethnographic museum, a continent in constant turmoil, a vast expanse of beautiful sand dunes and tropical savannas where herds of wildlife roam. This work peels away myths to explore the complexity, diversity, and human dimensions of a place called Africa--one that celebrates the commonplace and exotic simultaneously. The photographs are highly subjective, a personal investigation that reflects the sensibilities, formal concerns, and the ongoing engagement of the photographer in this part of the world.

With the brilliant Chinua Achebe--a Nigerian--contributing his poems and an essay, the book takes on a further and critical dimension. He presents a concise view of Africa today, including the individual and political issues facing its countries. He deals with Africa on its own terms--from within, not from an outsider's perspective.

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About the Author:

Robert Lyons's photographs have been exhibited widely in the United States, and his work is represented in a number of permanent collections, including those of the Polaroid Corporation and the Addison Gallery of American Art.  His other books are Gentlemen Photographers: The Work of Loring Underwood and William Wyman Underwood; Out of the Fire: Contemporary Glass Artists and Their Work; and Egyptian Time (with Naguib Mahfouz).  He lives in Seattle, Washington.  Chinua Achebe is a world-renowned author.  He has published novels, short stories, essays, and children's books.  His twentieth-century masterpiece, the novel Things Fall Apart (Anchor Books), has more than 8 million copies in print worldwide, in fifty different languages.  He lives in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

I will not mourn with you
your lost populations, the silent columns
of your fief erased
from the king's book of numbers

For in your house of stone
by the great road
you listened once to refugee voices
at dawn telling of massacres and plagues
in their land across seven rivers

Like a hornbill in flight
you tucked in your slippered feet
from the threshold
out of their beseeching gaze

But a pestilence father
than faraway tales of dawn
had bought a seat in Ogun's reckless
chariot and knocks by nightfall
on your iron gate.

Take heart oh chief; decimation
by miscount, however grievous,
is a happy retreat from bolder uses
of the past.  Take heart, C
for these scribal flourishes
behind smudged entries, these
trophied returns of clerical headhunters
can never match the quiet flow
of red blood.

But if my grudging comfort fail,
then take this long and even view to AD 2000
when the word is due to go out again
and--depending on which Caesar
order the count--new conurbations
may sprout in today's wastelands,
and thriving cities dissolve
in sudden mirages

and the ready-reckoners at court
will calculate their gain
and our loss, and make us
any-number-of-million-they-like strong!

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Robert Lyons
Published by Doubleday/Anchor Books (1998)
ISBN 10: 0385490380 ISBN 13: 9780385490382
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Lyons, Robert
Published by Doubleday/Anchor Books
ISBN 10: 0385490380 ISBN 13: 9780385490382
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