Photographer Lenses on African Urban Dynamics

Photographer lenses on African urban dynamics


Join us to reflect on African Urban Dynamics through photographers from various African Cities.

African cities experience an array of pressures, drivers and changes that shape the quality of our lived experiences. These competing causes and effects give the cities a dynamic and emergent quality which may best be captured through photography and storytelling. This session will follow a problem-posing pedagogy (form of teaching and learning) using photographs to evoke our thoughts, experiences and feelings about the urban Africa we experience and know, before the artists share insights about the contexts shared in their photographs. The emerging discussion will reflect on how photography can reveal nuances and stories vital for engaging with African urban issues and opportunities. Join us to reflect on African Urban Dynamics through photographers from various African Cities.


Regards de photographes sur les dynamiques urbaines africaines

Rejoignez-nous pour réfléchir à la dynamique urbaine africaine actuelle à travers des photographes de différentes villes africaines. Nous suivrons une pédagogie de pose de problèmes (forme d’enseignement et d’apprentissage) en utilisant des photographies pour évoquer nos pensées, expériences et sentiments sur l’Afrique que nous vivons et connaissons. Avant que les artistes ne partagent le contexte et les idées de la photographie vedette de leur série. Cette série de discussions servira de base pour définir comment créer ensemble un espace pour la révolution africaine en co-apprenant, co-développant et co-encourageant les autres à agir davantage en Afrique.


Host: ICLEI Africa

Paul Currie

Manager: Urban Systems Unit, ICLEI Africa

Liteboho Makhele

Programme Manager: Sustainable and Resilient Cities, South African City Network

David Maddox

Cities with Nature

Funmi Adeniyi

ICLEI Africa

Katumba Badru


Rehab Eldali


Chris de Beer-Procter


Lauren Arendse

ICLEI Africa, Moderator

Session Summary

This session titled, ‘Photographers lenses on African urban dynamics’, reflected on the value of photography in an African context and reviewed the shortlisted submissions to the RISE Africa 2022 photography competition. Lauren Arendse (ICLEI Africa) hosted the session and inputs were heard from a panel of speakers which included other members of the ICLEI Africa team – Paul Currie and Funmi Adeniyi, photographers Rehab Eldali, Katumba Badru and Chris de Beer-Procter, Liteboho Makhele from the South African Centre for Cities, and David Maddox, founder of The Nature of Cities.

During the introductions and opening comments both Chris and Rehab described how photography is an accessible tool through which Africans can tell their own stories. David added that photographs can become an input into a story telling based urban planning approach. The session’s attendees were then split up into breakout groups where they spent some time moving around a Mural board which displayed all the shortlisted entries to the RISE Africa 2022 photography competition and reflected on the images which they saw.

Eventually, everyone reconvened and shared the insights from their group discussions. The main takeaways were that photographs are an incredibly valuable resource which communicate the complexity and diversity of factors shaping Africa’s urban fabric and that they can be used to inspire the future design of African cities.