The African Scream

This print was originally painted onto 35mm film and has elements of digital drawing. It will be available as an A2 print. 


Thinking about Images of Africa


In these times when the intellectual laziness of xenophobia increasingly prevails, I don't feel that the real humanity of African cultures are very visible in Britain. Many seem happy to rely on cyphers and cliches and the ubiquitous truisms of extreme political views.

I wanted to make an image which is about images of Africa. I feel I've been fed images of Africa throughout my life, from Daktari and Zulu ("thousands of them!") in the 1960s with their daft representations of a sort of untamed wilderness, a place of adventure for white folks. To being the place which whilst commercially exploiting it's resources, both material and human, we should show compassion and of course pity.

Be a bit careful though, it needs to be contained, it's dangerous!


   In this print I've purposely referred to a European art icon "The Scream". My intention is to consider the way that images of Africa are fed to us in the "West" through a sort of filter of cultural anthropology by the history we are taught and presently to a greater extent, through the mass media.

Film-like but not realist, I've tried to give an impression of the sort of photographic images we might be shown in a news reports.

Representations of the "other" that are bit edgy, difficult and foreign, are often portrayed as being technichally challenging for the sake of emphasis.

The figure is represented as not being central in the composition, anguished, trapped, barely visible. The figure in Munch's "The Scream" seems very much the centre of it's own world, a representatation of neurotic angst.

I anticipate that the first assumption will be that this is a representation of the African as "victim" but there is also a suggestion that this scream is in fact a mask and that reality lies beneath the image. 

This will form part of an animated sequence in which the scream will, I hope, become empowered and insistent.