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In this way, the event not simply served to promote the Buea Press Photo Archives but instead succeeded to place the project within a broader framework of the “circulation of knowledge”.
The conference opened with welcome speeches given by the Regional Delegates of Communication and Culture respectively.
Fifteen papers were presented which touched on a number of burning issues concerning archives, photographs and their users in Cameroon and Africa in general.
The conference was an excellent platform to discuss practical, methodological and theoretical questions that arise in critically dealing with photographs and their contexts in distinct fields of activity, disciplines and archival settings.
The conference “Validating Visual Heritage in Africa: Historical Photographs and the Role of the ‘Archive’” which took place in Buea from 27 to 29 January is over. Being the closing event of the digitization and conservation project in the Cameroon Press Photo Archives-Buea (CPPA-B), which started in February 2013, the conference also constituted the transitional stage between concluding the project and exposing it to the public.
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The Swiss ambassador to Cameroon, Mister Claude Altermatt, himself a historian by training, welcomed the initiative taken by African Photography Initiatives placing it in the wider context of Switzerland’s engagement in Cameroon.
In his keynote address, Verkijika Fanso, professor emeritus of Yaoundé 1, former Director of Cultural Heritage in the old Cameroon Ministry of Culture (now Ministry of Arts and Culture), and president of the Association of Friends of Archives and Antiquities – Cameroon (AFAAC), presented a gripping review of his encounters and experiences with photographs in his academic work and personal life.
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