African Ceremonies: Documenting a Vanishing World


Monday, October 22, 2012 | 7pm In the Albert
Approximate running time: 70 minutes, followed by Q&A

“Through our books and lectures we tell people about Africa’s core values; respect for their elders, the benefit of growing up as part of a community, and the importance of living in harmony with nature and one’s own spirit world.” — Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith

Thirty years of work on the African continent have carried Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher across 270,000 miles and through remote corners of 40 countries in exploration of more than 150 African cultures. In the process, this team of world-renowned photographers has produced fifteen widely acclaimed books and made four films about traditional Africa.

While the life ways they document may appear timeless, these committed explorers are driven by a sense that they work against the clock. They view Africa’s traditional cultures as threatened, the ancient ways in danger of being lost in a vast melting pot of modernity. According to Fisher and Beckwith: “These unique cultures possess a wealth of knowledge that should be celebrated, shared, and honored. It is our life passion to document and create a powerful visual record of these vanishing ways of life for future generations.”

Most recently, Beckwith and Fisher have completed their latest book, Painted Bodies of Africa, exploring the fascinating and seductive art of African body painting, to be released in October 2012. Their previous book, Dinka: Legendary Cattle Keepers of Sudan, was the fruit of a 30-year study documenting the vanishing people in war-torn Sudan. They have received numerous awards from organizations around the world for their work, including the coveted Lowell Thomas Award of the Explorers Club, given only to the world’s most distinguished explorers. A book sale and signing will follow the presentation.

African Ceremonies by Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher from Angela & Carol on Vimeo.

  • African Ceremonies: Documenting a Vanishing World
    Carol Beckwith with Wodaabe people

  • African Ceremonies: Documenting a Vanishing World
    Angela Fisher with Karo people

  • African Ceremonies: Documenting a Vanishing World
    Swahili woman decorating her hand with henna, Lamu Island, Kenya

  • African Ceremonies: Documenting a Vanishing World
    Karo courtship dancers, Ethiopia

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