How did an Instagram account shift perceptions of Africa and evolve into a massive global movement? We caught up with Trailblazer Peter DiCampo, co-founder of Everyday Africa, to find out how the social media project began and how it’s inspiring similar projects across the world.
What comes to mind when you think of Africa? For some, it’s images of wildlife, for others it’s sensationalized extremes of poverty, war, and famine. These antiquated clichés are what drives our Trailblazer Peter DiCampo, co-founder of Everyday Africa, to show that this continent is so much more complex than mainstream media would have us believe.
What began as an Instagram account in 2012, created by Peter DiCampo and Austin Merrill, both journalists and former Peace Corps volunteers in West Africa, is now a global movement bringing a greater awareness of what ordinary life looks like in Africa—a continent of 54 diverse countries. The social media project is now bringing mobile photography and social commentary to the printed page, with a new book Everyday Africa: 30 Photographers Re-Picturing a Continent.
In just five years, the @EverydayAfrica Instagram account has grown to over 325,000 followers. With over 3,600 images from African photographers, it’s using its social media influence to present a more familiar and textured reality of this complex continent and to show beauty in the mundane—from school graduations to fashion shows to urban commutes. The idea has since turned into a global movement known as The Everyday Projects, inspiring similar projects such as @Everyday Middle East and @EverydayAsia, with the shared goal of showing a broader spectrum of daily life across the world.
We caught up with Trailblazer Peter DiCampo to find out how this project began, how it’s changing perceptions of Africa, and how the global movement is evolving.