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West Africa

April 10, 2013

Documentary photographer Ami Vitale speaks about her work

For over twenty years, Panos Pictures has been using photography to communicate critical social issues and stories beyond the mainstream media landscape to new and diverse audiences. More than 30,000 of their images of contemporary global affairs are currently available in the Artstor Digital Library.

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In this Panos-produced video, Ami Vitale shares the story behind a photograph she took when she lived in Guinea-Bissau in West Africa.

Search the Digital Library for Ami Vitale and Alio to see this and other photographs she took of the Fulani child, or just for her name to find more than 1,000 of her poignant photographs.

You may also be interested in these other videos from Panos:

Stephan Vanfleteren speaks about his work

Carolyn Drake speaks about her work

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August 8, 2012

Teaching with Artstor: The Great Mosque of Djenné and West African architecture

James Conlon | The Great Mosque of Djenne, South façade, exterior | image: 2008 | Djenne, Mali | for commercial use or publication, please contact: Media Center for Art History, Columbia University. Email: mediacenter at columbia dot

James Conlon | The Great Mosque of Djenne, South façade, exterior | image: 2008 | Djenne, Mali | for commercial use or publication, please contact: Media Center for Art History, Columbia University. Email: mediacenter at columbia dot edu

Mrs. Michelle Apotsos
Stanford University
Doctoral candidate Art History/Architectural History

As a graduate student at Tufts University, I was once given the opportunity to give a lecture to a class of architectural history students on West African architectural form for the purpose of unsettling some common notions that inform Western conceptions of the built environment. I decided to present a case study of the Djenné mosque in Mali, West Africa as an example of an architectural tradition that utilizes distinctive structures, materials, and iconographies to resonate with its cultural context. The experience itself not only revealed to me the inherent challenges of teaching architectural studies in Africa, but also the necessity of having high-quality visual tools in order to recreate a convincing three-dimensional spatial narrative. Thus began my ongoing love affair with the Artstor Digital Library.

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