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From a long-hidden archive, rediscovered photos from one of Africa's most storied and influential photojournalists.
From a long-hidden archive, rediscovered photos from one of Africa's most storied and influential photojournalists.
386 backers pledged $40,761 to help bring this project to life.

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$40,761

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About Priya Ramrakha

Priya Ramrakha was a Kenyan photojournalist and one of the most prolific photographers of Africa’s independence movements in the 1950s and 1960s. 

He rose to international fame as one of the first African photographers published in Time magazine and Life magazine. After he was killed on assignment in Biafra, Nigeria in 1968, Priya Ramrakha’s photographic legacy seemed to evaporate.  

The Book

Four decades later in Nairobi, Kenya, we found his prints and negatives, covered in dust and all but forgotten. We then spent over ten years compiling his archive of more than 100,000 images from around the globe.

In his short life he worked intensely, documenting the hopes and the chaos of independence movements in Zanzibar, Congo, Yemen and Nigeria.   

He portrayed suppressed stories such as the anti-colonial Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya, and freedom fighters Tom Mboya and Jomo Kenyatta.  

In the United States, he captured civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X in action, and portrayed pan-African luminary Miriam Makeba.  

In an era of liberation movements, Ramrakha drew attention to the untold stories and sacrifices that ordinary people took in extraordinary conditions.   

Sensitive and nuanced, the majority of his work went unpublished. Today, seen for the first time, they offer new narratives, disrupting and reimagining what we thought we knew about struggle, solidarity and connections within Africa and beyond.  

Priya Ramrakha is the first book to present photographs from his recovered archive c.1950-1968. Edited by Shravan Vidyarthi and Erin Haney with a foreword by Paul Theroux and essays and interviews with Morley Safer, Sana Aiyar, Erin Haney, John Edwin Mason, Drew Thompson and Shravan Vidyarthi. Photo Archive Editing by Erica McDonald. Design Consultant Francesca Richer.

Hardcover volume, 200 pages, (approx 9x11 in; 229x303 mm) published in Germany by Kehrer Verlag (Heidelberg) in October 2018. 

Press   

The New York Times 'Finding Priya Ramrakha'

Aperture Magazine   'On the Side of Truth'

PDN Photo Daily News 'Priya Ramrakha’s Pan-African Perspective' 

Prints by Priya Ramrakha 

C-print on Fuji Crystal Archival paper printed by Luxlab, NYC

Boy & Girl, 1960 

Bicycles, 1965 

Musicians, 1967

Faces, 1967

Photographers, Nairobi, 1963

 Hangar, 1965

Miriam Makeba, 1962

Malcolm X and Nation of Islam, New York, 1962 

John F Kennedy and Patricia Kennedy Lawford, Los Angeles, 1960 

Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Los Angeles, 1961 

 Cat and mouse, 1961  

Salvador Dali, 1963  

Women, 1966  

 Men with car, 1966 

Risks and challenges

When the challenges of this campaign are met, there will be a book published in October 2018. If there are to be any delays, they will be minimal, since each and every element of the design, layout, and production are being overseen by our team.

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    Pledge US$ 21 or more About US$ 21

    Thank you & launch party invitation

    *Public shout out
    *Invitation to book launch party in NYC, DC, and Nairobi

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    Book and launch party invitation

    *Signed copy of the book
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    Book, print (8x10) & launch party

    *BEST BARGAIN!
    *Signed copy of the book
    *Priya Ramrakha print (8x10) [see details below and selection]
    *Invitation to book launch party in NYC, DC, and Nairobi

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    Book, print (16x20) & launch party

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    Screening, book, 10 prints

    *Signed copy of the book
    *Selection of 10 Priya Ramrakha prints (8x10) [see details below and selection]
    *Private screening of Priya Ramrakha documentary for group of your choice
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Funding period

- (37 days)