Men & Women / Femmes & Hommes
Cameroon Photo Press Archices, Buea.
What is a country’s pride? It is its people and its history! Being the heirs of that history men and women are changing and influencing it by participating in the continual flow of events and encounters, enduring the bitter failures and enjoying the successes of what they have ben struggling for. We are not talking here only about great men and woman whose lives and achievements are being praised and biographies written on but also of ordinary men and women, those who have lived, seemingly, in the shadow of events, those whose lives have mostly been determined by others but fully endured by themselves.
The Cameroon Photo Press Archives Buea although a governmental institutions and thus concentrating rather on the grand lines of the country’s history, nevertheless give shelter to images which document a history lived and shaped both by protagonists and bystanders.
African Photography Initiatives, supported by the Ministry of Communication and the Swiss embassy funded by the British Library, the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and the Centre for African Studies, University of Basel have succeeded in the partial digitization of the holdings of this valuable Archives. The images are now available for research for scholars both national and international. The present booklet is only a small extract from approximately 25’000 negatives that have been digitized and approximately 100’000 negatives the Archives hold. It is dedicated to the people of Cameroon, the people who made and make their country’s history.
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote that “the capacity to build a new future depends on our ability to see a fundamental continuity with the strengths of the past”. We hope that the discussion of and confrontation with the images in the Cameroon Photo Press Archives Buea (Infocam) which are now easily accessible will contribute to this ability to link future, present and past.