Africa: Beyond the Stereotypes

In a single day 95 photographers document a wildly diverse continent bursting with energy and promise

Kelongwa, Zambia Photograph by Themba Hadebe Greeting the day is 6-year-old Kazungu Kautingu, whose father, David Kautingu, runs a rural health clinic that serves 4,000 people and is equipped with little more than a refrigerator for vaccines and a few cots and mattresses on the floor. 2002 Themba Hadebe from " A Day in the Life of Africa"
Cairo, Egypt Photograph by Nadia Benchallal In Egypt, women such as these on the bank of the Nile River (with Cairo as a backdrop) are free to hold political office, choose their own professions, run their own businesses. In cosmopolitan Cairo, where women make up nearly 49 percent of the population, young, unmarried women especially enjoy the freedom and challenge of a job. 2002 Nadia Benchallal from " A Day in the Life of Africa"
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Photograph by Peter Bialobrzeski Textiles are a leading industry in largely impoverished Ethiopia, where Muslim, Christian and traditional faiths coexist and more than 100 languages are spoken 2002 Peter Bialobrzeski from " A Day in the Life of Africa"
Abidjan, Ivory Coast Photograph by Lougue Issoufou Sanogo Near the port city of nearly two million people, an orphanage at recess offers sanctuary in a nation torn by a violent civil war. 2002 Lougue Issoufou Sanogo from " A Day in the Life of Africa"
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa Photograph by Jay Dickman Park rangers take blood from a sedated Cape buffalo to test for bovine tuberculosis, a deadly infection easily spread to other species, especially lions. 2002 Jay Dickman from " A Day in the Life of Africa"
Chefchaouene, Morocco photograph by Joachim Ladefoged Layers of history underlie an impromptu soccer practice in the old quarter of this ancient city, founded in 1471 and sacred to Muslims. The quarter also offered refuge to Jews driven from Spain at the end of the 15th century because they would not convert to Catholicism. 2002 Joachim Ladefoged from " A Day in the Life of Africa"

Send 95 photojournalists around the African continent on the same day, and what do you get? Pictures that belie the clichéd expectations. A prosperous black family enjoys breakfast in a sparkling kitchen near Johannesburg, South Africa. Denim-clad girls giggle in Cape Verde. Mauritius shopkeepers stand at a counter of jewellike candies. A snowplow traverses Morocco’s white-topped Atlas Mountains. Africa, which is three times the size of the United States, contains 53 nations, 720 million people and more than 800 ethnic groups who speak nearly 1,000 languages. That diversity comes across in the 250 photographs taken on February 28, 2002, that appear in A Day in the Life of Africa, published by the Tides Foundation and Group Nine. Yes, the photographers encountered ragged poverty, fouled water, armed rebels. And AIDS. The disease has killed 12 million Africans, and some 25 million more are HIV-positive. (All publishing profits from the book will support AIDS education throughout Africa.) Mostly, the book portrays a hopeful, beautiful continent "vitally anxious," in Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu’s words, "for democracy and self-determination."

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