This essay looks at ways of disentangling from epistemic violence in visual production in African urban contexts. Tracing parallels between the colonial intrinsically violent gaze and contemporary attempts to disentangle from epistemic violence, the author seeks to problematize the violence of images of Africa. The essay examines works of photographers who explore urban environments in West Africa by establishing an intimate relationship with a place, opening avenues for multiple ways of seeing. This contribution shows how this personal dimension allows photographers to transcend objectivity and go beyond epistemic violence based on the opposition of ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ Contemplation of the city occurs both in thoughtful relation with the self and with the surrounding environment.
Publication type: Essay