Look at me!

Every day millions of people all over the world share photos of themselves. Photography is a powerful way to show who you are or want to be. But is this unique in our time? You’ll find the answer to that question in this photo exhibition, between 20.11.2014-15.3.2015 at Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam.

The Tropenmuseum has explored its rich historical collection of photographs and discovered astonishing similarities with more recent self-portraits.

Self imaging in three periods

View images by Woodbury & Page and other 19th-century photo studios never exhibited before; famous studio portraits by James Barnor, Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé; and contemporary self-portraits by artists like Iké Udé, Ni Haifeng and Hélène Amouzou. The portrait photos can be divided into three periods:

  • 19th-century colonial Indonesia;
  • the independence period in the 1950s and 1960s in West Africa;
  • and the multicultural West of today.


© Seydou Keïta Photography Estate

A visual journey of discovery along portraits from three different periods


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