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Spreading Africa’s ‘Good News’ through a Lens

When Kyle Weeks was growing up in Windhoek, Namibia, his father would watch the news every morning before work, and again at lunchtime. He’d then relay the headlines to his son: a perpetual cycle of bleak outlooks on Africa. “There was never really any good news,” Weeks remembers. Now, as a photographer, he’s challenging that narrative by focusing his lens on the creativity of the continent’s youth. And it would seem that this perspective is resonating. In 2016, Weeks was honored at the Magnum Photography Awards for his 2015 series “Palm Wine Collectors,” which captures Makalani palm harvesters from the Kunene region of Namibia tapping palm trees to make a nourishing moonshine. That same year, he had a solo show at the National Art Gallery of Namibia. Since then, Weeks has been exhibited everywhere from Red Hook Labs in Brooklyn to London’s 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair and has landed commissions from the likes of Vogue Italia and the New York Times.