The Africa Online Museum features the field photography, film and research of Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher who have devoted 45 years to recording traditional cultures across the African continent.
To capture their iconic images and record the accompanying information, Carol and Angela travelled over 300,000 miles to the remote corners of the African continent. The trust they built with the people they encountered gave them unprecedented access to rituals and rites of passage often held in secret and little known to the outside world. The resulting photographs and videos give a privileged view of traditional ceremonies which celebrate the cycle of human life across Africa, from birth to death.
To gain trust, Angela and Carol often lived with traditional families for months, learning languages, sharing food, life-styles, and creating bonds of friendship. The photographers came with respect and humility, and with a deep interest in how people lived, what they believed, and how they experienced, through ceremony and ritual, the important passages of life.
“We feel privileged to photograph these cultures that possess a wealth of knowledge that should be celebrated, shared and honoured. It is our life’s passion to document and create a powerful visual record of these vanishing ways of living for the benefit of future generations.
Thousands of Africans have helped us make this study by inviting us into their private and often sacred worlds, and sharing with us their knowledge of living in harmony with their environment, the importance of community, respect for elders and the value of rituals that ease the passages of life. We came to believe that these age-old cultures often held the secret to human happiness and that Africa’s rich cultural heritage is a magnificent contribution to the world at large.
Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher