The Tate Modern’s latest exhibition "A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography," celebrates the dynamic and diverse landscape of photography across the African continent. Featuring works by 36 artists from different generations and countries, the exhibition brings to light the profound impact of photography and video as tools for examining the past while envisioning a more hopeful future.

Historically, Africa has been portrayed through Western lenses, shaping perceptions and misrepresenting its cultures and traditions. A World in Common sets out to challenge these dominant narratives, presenting over 150 artworks that illuminate alternative visions of Africa's rich histories, cultures, and identities.

The display opens with portraits from George Osodi’s Nigerian Monarchs series, where the artists captured 100 traditional monarchs who still hold seats of power. From the longest-serving monarch, who is photographed wearing a traditional robe featuring the Queen, “which would have probably been a gift during colonialism,” explains curator Osei Bonsu, to a female monarch who sits on a chair believed to be cursed so only women can sit on it, Osodi’s tells the unheard stories of Nigerian royalty.

Additionally, family photo albums and elegantly composed studio portraits highlight the shared sense of community and belonging that connects Africa and its global diaspora. Lebohang Kganye reimagined photographs she found of her mother after her death and superimposes her own contemporary portrait on to them. Through this she “brings shared memories into our current moment,” says Osei. Beautifully illustrating the connection she shares with her mother.

Simultaneously, the exhibition also confronts the growing impact of the climate emergency with scenes of devastated coastlines and surreal landscapes, providing a powerful commentary on the intersection of past and future.

A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography is open for the rest of 2023. Book tickets at