QDC / Quotidien des Capitales (African Capitals daily)

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“QDC/Quotidien des capitales” (which means African Capitals daily) is a group of 4 French photograhers who take turns in immersing themselves for two weeks in the work of an African newspaper in various capitals of the continent.

Every day they work with the editorial team and journalists, from the morning editorial meeting to the evening printing, and follow life in these capital cities, producing news images but also behind the scenes shots in keeping with their respective artistic approaches.

QDC is a way of shedding new light on African current affairs and its stakes, of dealing with African urban daily life, leaving space for the unexpected and wrong-footing the journalistic approach that is purely angled to our European standards. It is also an original way of showing the practices and stakes of the work of news media in different capitals on the African continent.

The idea is for the photographers to question and tackle the job of being a journalist in Africa today, keeping a respectful distance free of judgement and preconceptions. The project is also a vector for creating ties with journalists and editorial staff of the various partner newspapers of 4 capitals on the African continent.

An original creation by Camille Millerand, Baptiste de Ville d’Avray, Jeanne Mercier, Philippe Guionie and myself.

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A daily chronicle of an African city

In November 2011, as part of an art residency at the French Institute in Gabon, I chose to immerse myself in the work of the Gabon Matin team, a Libreville newspaper in the country’s capital. Each day I worked with the local photojournalists dealing with current events. I produced images for publication in the paper as well as behind the scenes shots.

This work combined newspaper articles dealing with current events I’d covered on the one hand, as well as auteur images produced in the same context on the other. The caption extends and puts the official article into perspective, as well as shedding new light on it.

On returning to France I was interested in the results of this first experience, but wished to continue with other people so we could simultaneously deal with different countries. I shared my idea with Camille Millerand, who interestingly was preparing a similar project, Philippe Guionie and the Afrique in Visu team. The QDC project was born.

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QDC – 2013 edition

For QDC’s first edition, from January to March 2013, we worked with the Dépêches de Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo (Philippe Guionie),  with Fraternité Matin in Côte d’Ivoire (Camille Millerand), Le Temps in Morroco (Baptiste de Ville d’Avray)  and the Express in Madagascar (myself).

A dedicated website allowed our readers to follow our experiences almost as they happened, through a dozen posts which were uploaded three times a week. Each post presents an auteur image, the photographer’s account and an image from behind the scenes at the newspaper.

In total, 36 articles were published with positive press feedback, among them the 6 mois magazine and Atelier des Médias.


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QDC – 2014 edition

“QDC” is a scheme that has proved itself with this first experience. It allows new light to be shed on an event or city.

We would like to run QDC in 2014 and are looking for the support of a partner and/or media.

Here are two proposals of themes we could deal with through QDC :

  • THEME 1 : African Elections

In April 2014, presidential elections will be held simultaneously in two major African countries : Algeria and South Africa. The stakes are high : for Algeria, this election represents a turning point as Bouteflika will not stand again, and the post-Arab Spring events in North Africa could influence the vote. In South Africa, ANC’s dominance is shaky for the first time since the end of apartheid. With the miners’ strikes and bloody crack downs as well as a dip in growth, the country is in doubt. In each country, two photojournalists would be embedded in the editorial team of two newspapers (of different political persuasions) during one week. The trip would cover the end of the campaign, the elections and results.

  • THEME 2 : African Megacities

The hyperurbanisation of African capitals. 4 megacities seen by 4 journalists embedded in 4 national editorial teams will analyse these African urban centres. How did these capitals become overpopulated? Where do these new inhabitants come from? Why? What are the ecological and sanitary stakes for these megacities? What does urbanisation mean in these large cities? For 15 days, 4 photographers will analyse 4 African megacities : Algiers, Dakar, Kinshasa and Johannesburg by being embedded in 4 national editorial teams.