Cameroon Press Photo  Archives, Buea. Protection, Conservation, Access

Project duration 15 February 2013 – 15 February 2015                  Link to Yaoundé Declaration

The project consist in the physical preservation and digitization of a part of the photographic holdings of the Cameroon Press Photo Archives, joint research projects of Cameroonian and Swiss students using this visual material and the capitalization of the results through exhibitions, publications and conferences.
This initiative is funded by the British Library's Endangered Archives Programme, the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and the Centre for African Studies, University of Basel. It is thanks to Pa Emmanuel Mbwaye, the first photographer of the Cameroonian Information Service and although retired since 1987 still very active, that the Buea Press Photo Archives was not buried in oblivion.
The first phase of the project which consisted in the partial digitization of the Buea Press Photo Archives began in February 2013. A team of 6 young Cameroonians working during 6 months in the premises of the regional delegation of the Ministry of Communication (MINCOM) succeeded in scanning approximately 14.000 groundsheets and photographing 26.000 negatives in high resolution. All available information was entered into a data base.
In April 2013, Miss Barbara Frey the former curator of the photographic collection of mission 21 / Basel with Miss Rosario Mazuela held a Training Course in Photo Archival Techniques in Buea.
The main objective of the second phase one year later is defined as to make the visual material accessible to scholars, artists and the general public. To this end, in February 2014, an Archive and Research Project in the Press Photo Archives Buea with students from the University of Buea and the University of Basel was organized. Furthermore, adding even more visibility to the second phase of the project, the photo exhibition “Path towards unity, Cameroon 1955-1972” which used a considerable number of the Press Photo Archives was opened in Buea’s new Council Hall

More about the projet (Project Ref: EAP542)

BL                 ZASB

Related articles:

Cameroon Tribune, March 21, 2013

All Africa, March 21, 2013

Cameroon Tribune, February 21, 2014

Rundbrief Fotografie, Vol. 20, 2013

Images & Memoires, Bulletin 40, Printemps 2014

Africultures, 9 juillet 2014

Fotota 1750, October 27, 2014

Continent Manuscrits, 3 2014

Fotota 2012, 2 Mars, 2015

Afrique In Visu, 5 Mars 2015

IFLA, WLIC, Cape Town 2015

British Library. Endangered Archives blog, Januar 11, 2016

Cameroun Tribune, février 2016

Fotota 2822, 22 février 2016

Vestiges: Traces of Record, Vol 3, June 2017.

Related publications

Men and Women, Femmes et Hommes, July 2015

Men & Femmes (vimeo version), November 2016

Multiple gazes of a country's photographed past, September 2017

Related conferences and workshops:

Antropology and Photography, London, 29-31 May 2014

Research, Exhibitions and Africa History, Basel, October 25, 2014

IFLA Satellite Conference, Cap Town, August 14, 2015

Related videos:

The Buea Archives Digitization Project. HiTV. 2013

Emmanuel Moanga Mbwaye. Photography Icon. Beacons of Time. CRTV. 2013

Cameroon Archives Buea. HiTV. 2013


Men & Femmes from African Photography Initiatives on Vimeo.

APPB NEG 4808 72