My friend Andrew Dosunmu has done an extraordinary book of photographs of African football, capturing the almost subversive joy and exuberance it brings to the global game, and its place in the urban African social fabric. “For me, it was about photographing what soccer does to people—it’s more of a celebration. Soccer is a center that brings people together,” he says. “It was a great opportunity to show life in Africa, not the way it’s reduced in the world media.”
Touting the aesthetics of urban Africa has long been Andrew’s auterial signature, whether in his work as a fashion-stylist, photographer, videographer and filmmaker. Even before I met him in 1994, his work had jumped off the page at me out of magazines like Paper and Vibe, where he styled clothes in a rugged dancehall reggae setting that spoke of the appropriation of Armani and Hugo Boss in urban African shanty towns rather than on fashion runways. (Check out his portfolio here)
He was way ahead of the curve in introducing that aesthetic to style magazines and music videos, and he’s just kept going.
Hot Irons, his extraordinary slice-of-life documentary on the contestants in Detroit’s Annual “Hair Wars” hairdresser throwdown explored the deeper issues of hair and personal style in African Diaspora culture, in the most understated, visual way, consistent with his commercial styling work and his art.
It also got him a Sundance Fellowship.
Andrew at Sundance makes a point to his host
There are, I know, more movies to come. Andrew has a magic touch that captures the cut-and-paste reordering of symbols of urban Africa better than anyone I know. Go and see whatever he does, believe me, you won’t be disappointed.