Photography by Kerstin Hacker
2 October to 21 December 2018
The Exhibition is located on the third floor, throughout the Centre of African Studies and in the African Studies Library
Supported by the Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge
The photographic series Generation Z documents the changing urban experience in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia.
Generation Z combines the acknowledgement of Hacker’s own European visual heritage with the experience of extended stays in Lusaka. She asks viewers to contemplate change in Zambia and dismantle neocolonial visual discourses.
In August 2017, the Generation Z series was exhibited at the Henry Tayali Gallery in Zambia, by invitation of the Visual Arts Council of Zambia. The Generation Z series was originally aimed at a British audience, however, it also sparked debate amongst Zambian photographers on how to develop methods of showing a wider, more diverse view, which highlights the country’s unique character. The discussions highlighted that Zambia’s visual identity outside the country, and to some extent within the country, is often based on a stereotypical African narrative, which was felt not to reflect life experienced within Zambia. It is therefore not a question of if Generation Z represents of modern Africa ‘correctly’, but if they contribute to the debate on how Zambia could be represented.
These images debate the dangers of neo-liberal consumerism on African culture and what this means to the people of Zambia, but also illustrated the visual ‘proof’ of the so often demanded economic progress of an African nation. It highlights the chasm between Zambians’ daily experience of their urban lives in Lusaka, and the photographs they see of themselves in the international media. Generation Z was photographed in Lusaka in 2016 – 17.
Kerstin Hacker is a photo documentarist and academic. Her work is published and exhibited internationally. She is a recipient of the Agfa/Emma Female Photojournalist of the Year Award, is an Alexia Foundation alumna and is a Fellow of the Research Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP).
Her long-term research interests explore the changing perception, representation and visual self-governance in Africa. Her current research explores the emerging middle class in Lusaka, Zambia. While working on her own photographic project, she also works with a group of Zambian photographers and academics, who are in the process of establishing art education projects. As part of this ongoing development, Hacker has been running photography workshops for professional photographers with the Visual Arts Council Zambia exploring how photography could contribute to the development of a visual identity of a developing country like Zambia and how it can foster its visual self-governance. Hacker is also mentoring young Zambian photographers and academics.
Kerstin was born in Bavaria/Germany in 1968. She holds a BA and MA from FAMU (Academy of Applied Arts), Prague, Czech Republic. Since 2008 she is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for Photography at the Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University.