Local Understanding, 2016, by Aida Muluneh, courtesy the artist and David Krut Projects
First things first: Yes, this is a special issue about books while Aperture is, yes, a quarterly magazine. But that’s a small quibble when you consider that our Book Issue has always been about great, engaging reads and Aperture’s latest outing is certainly that. Titled Platform Africa, it takes an in-depth and critical look at all aspects of contemporary photography in Africa — from artists to know, including Mimi Cherono Ng’ok, Aida Muluneh and François-Xavier Gbre, to the lasting influences of the Bamako Biennale in Mali. The inspiration began, as the editors note in the introduction, with a question lensman Nii Obodai posed at Ethiopia’s Addis Foto Fest last year: “How do we create a meaningful photographic experience on this continent?” The query was rhetorical; he had the answer. “We have to map the network,” he said. And that’s precisely what this summer issue of Aperture does. The imagery for this art magazine, it goes without saying, is incredible from cover to cover, but the accompanying articles are superb — incisive and thoughtful. Both factors combined is what vaults this issue to a Tory Daily must-read.

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