On February 28, 2002, one hundred of the world's foremost photojournalists, representing 21 countries, will take part in one of the most ambitious photographic projects ever attempted: they will fan out across 53 nations to capture the entire African continent on a single day. The best images will be included in the A Day in the Life of Africa book, website and traveling exhibition that will represent the most wide-ranging look at Africa ever attempted. All publishing profits from the book will be used to fund AIDS education programs in Africa.
"This project is a celebration of African life that will actually save African lives," says project director, David Cohen. "More than 25 million African men, women and children are HIV positive, and every minute, two more are infected." Cohen, who has directed eleven Day in the Life titles commented that "we've produced these projects for 20 years, chronicling cultures around the world, but our primary goal here is to raise global awareness of a continent at risk."
The photographers will assemble at project headquarters in Paris before they are dispatched to their assignments on the African continent. The diverse photo team will include more than a dozen Pulitzer Prize and World Press Photo winners as well as 20 members of the famed Magnum and Group VII photo agencies. More than 20 African and African-American photographers will participate, providing a crucial perspective on the continent. The entire 100-person photography team will be outfitted with state-of-the-art Olympus E-20N and C-4040 digital cameras, marking the first time a major photography book will include predominantly digital images.
The photographers will participate in training sessions sponsored by Olympus, held in NY, Paris and Johannesburg. These training sessions will allow the photographers a chance to familiarize themselves with Olympus digital cameras prior to the February 28 shoot date.
From Cairo to the Cape of Good Hope, the African continent includes a billion people and more than 800 distinct ethnic groups. The breathtaking variety and startling contrasts will make A Day in the Life of Africa the most compelling visual document of 2002. The photographers will be dispatched to locations ranging from Tanzania's Olduvai Gorge to the teeming bazaars of Dakar; from the Congo Basin's verdant jungles to the stark Saharan wastes, to a packed soccer stadium in Accra. With access to homes, schools, and workplaces across the continent, they will create a rich tapestry of African life as it is lived on one day. Only the best pictures - approximately 250 images from a pool of 50,000 or more - will be included in A Day in the Life of Africa.
For two decades, the best-selling Day in the Life photography books have chronicled cultures around the world. Thirteen titles - including Days in the Life of the United States, China, Russia, and Japan - have collectively sold 2.5 million copies. A Day in the Life of Africa is directed by David Cohen and produced by Lee Liberman, who also chairs the Day in the Life of Africa AIDS Education Fund.
A Day in the Life of Africa will be published in the United States and Canada on November 1, 2002 through Publishers Group West, North America's largest independent book distributor and in Francophone countries through the Editions Filipacchi division of Hachette Filipacchi. The book will also be published in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia. A Day in the Life of Africa will include a forward by Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
All publishing profits will be used to fund AIDS education programs in Africa. Programs will be selected in concert with The Harvard Aids Institute, South Africa's renowned Soul City Foundation and Johns Hopkins' Center for Communication Programs. Funds will be administered by the Tides Foundation.
A Day in the Life of Africa is made possible by generous grants from: Pfizer, Olympus, Anheuser-Busch and ChevronTexaco.
A Day in the Life of Africa's technology partner is Apple.
A Day in the Life of Africa's hotel partner is Le Meridien.
Crucial support for A Day in the Life of Africa is provided by Lexar Media, The World Bank Group, Eskom, South African Airways and Air France.
Additional support is provided by RFI-Radio France Internationale and CFI-Canal France International.
Venture funding was provided by LJCB Investments of Melbourne, Australia.
A Day in the Life® is a registered trademark of HarperCollins Publishers, and it is used with their generous permission.