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What is the State of Art Criticism and Photographic Writing on the Continent?

Nigeria’s Emmanuel Iduma is many things: writer, editor, publisher, critic and photographer. In 2022 he combined these skills to introduce a newsletter, Tender Photo, sent to subscribers twice a week. It has since become an important platform for African photographers, writers, critics and curators. Published on Substack, it has become so widely popular that it was a featured publication on the online newsletter support site. Iduma is the author of three books: I Am Still With You, a memoir on the Nigerian Civil War; A Stranger’s Pose, a travelogue; and The Sound of Things to Come, a novel. He’s also a recipient of the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize. With Tender Photo, Iduma is drawn to the narrative potential of photography and the hidden elements behind it. In the newsletter Iduma chooses a photo and writes briefly about what it calls to mind for him. The featured photographer then writes about why and how they took the photo. Literary culture scholar Tinashe Mushakavanhu asked him about the project.