Since the 1996 death of African photojournalist Mohamed Amin, an inconspicuous back room in Nairobi has been locked off from the public, maintained only by two solitary sentries stationed between file cabinets in a windowless, climate controlled vault.
Today’s Mo’s impact continues to be felt in the Mohamed Amin Foundation as it opens its doors for exploration and exhibition. The Mohamed Amin Collection includes more than 5000 hours of raw video content and approximately 2.5 million still photographs gathered between 1963-1996.
The Mohamed Amin Collection represents one of the world’s greatest unexploited historical artifacts. It includes unique, high quality documentation of the events surrounding post-colonial Africa, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. This timeless work of art features culture, conflict, political upheaval, wildlife, entertainment, and an unparalleled visual chronicle of the daily life of millions of Africans.
Our mission is to translate and share this body of work with the global public as a way to stimulate dialogue about Africa and Africans.
Mohamed Amin was an African. He was the most famous photo-journalist in the world, making the news as often as he covered it. ‘Mo’ trained his unwavering lens on every aspect of African life, never shying from the tragedy, never failing to exult in the success.
He was born into an Africa at the high noon of colonial decline, and by his early teens was already documenting events, which were soon to dominate world news. He witnessed and recorded the alternating currents of his beloved continent and beyond, projecting those images across the world, sometimes shocking, sometimes delighting millions of television viewers and newspaper readers. Through the gaze of his camera lens, he showed the world what some were afraid to see and what most people wished they could ignore.
His coverage of the 1984 Ethiopian famine proved so compelling that it inspired a collective global conscience and became the catalyst for the greatest-ever act of giving. Unquestionably, it also saved the lives of millions of men, women and children. He served as both the inspiration and as a catalyst for Band Aid, USA for Africa and Live Aid.
In a career spanning more that 30 years, ‘Mo’ was our eyes on the frontline in every situation and his honest unwavering approach to photojournalism earned him the unconditional respect of both friends and enemies alike. Mo covered every major event in Africa and beyond, braving 28 days of torture, surviving bombs and bullets, even the loss of his left arm in an ammunition dump explosion, to emerge as the most decorated news cameraman of all time.
Mo’s remarkable life was cut tragically short in November 1996 when hijackers took over an Ethiopian airliner forcing it to crash land in the Indian Ocean killing 123 passengers and crew. Mo died on his feet still negotiating with the terrorists.