African photography is on the rise. From street to art photography, conceptual and documentary to fashion photography, homegrown photographers are increasingly stepping up to show their world what they see when they look through the lens, following decades of photographic misrepresentation, or reduction, by observers from outside the continent. In a series This is Africa spotlights some of these photographers. This week: Arnaud Gwaga Mugisha from Burundi.
– . Though Arnaud Gwaga Mugisha already had a management degree, he decided three years ago to head in a different direction.
“I fooled myself into wanting to become someone I actually wasn’t. After dating a photographer, I had the courage to tell myself that it was OK to have spend four years studying and end up doing something completely different afterwards, so I picked up a camera. I should add that support from friends and family made me want to pursue the field of photography as well.”
Things fell into place when he started to receive encouraging comments from strangers via social media and from viewers close to home.
Mugisha chooses and shoots his landscapes, portraits and cultural events carefully to show the “outstanding and captivating” features of his country. Giving Burundians the chance to see themselves portrayed differently by one of their own is Mugisha’s goal. And with more Burundians having access to internet and using social media, it’s easier than ever for him to reach more and more of them.