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Archives of Beauty and Pain: A Century of African Women in Photos

What started out as a personal dive into her own history turned into an amazing archive of African photography. Adopted as a child and of mixed race, Catherine McKinley, was always seeking answers about her identity. As part of her research, she began collecting vintage photographs that began to weave incredible stories, which she has now assembled in The African Lookbook: A Visual History of 100 Years of African Women. It weaves together historical photos and McKinley’s own research and musings – offers an encapsulation of, and a window into, the rich history of West African photography – and the women who were at the centre of the frame. The book also includes an introduction by the novelist Edwidge Danticat and a foreword by the writer Jaqueline Woodson. Photo collages by Frida Orupabo, a Norwegian-Nigerian artist, add a layer of subtext to the images.