Inside The Mohamed Amin Archive

Step behind-the-scenes of the Kenyan photographer's extraordinary archive.

By Mohamed Amin Foundation

The Mohamed Amin Collection by Trupti ShahMohamed Amin Foundation

Introducing the Mohamed Amin Collection

Since the death of renowned African photojournalist Mohamed Amin in 1996, 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. 

The Mohamed Amin Collection by Trupti ShahMohamed Amin Foundation

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Mo's collection going forward

Now, after years of frame-by-frame cataloguing, and digitizing thousands of hours of raw video files, the Mohamed Amin Collection is opening its doors for exploration and exhibition. The collection includes more than 8000 hours of raw video content and approximately 3 million still photographs gathered between 1953 and 1996.

The Mohamed Amin Collection by Trupti ShahMohamed Amin Foundation

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One of a kind

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, the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Mohamed Amin Collection by Trupti ShahMohamed Amin Foundation

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A marriage of art and history

The Mohamed Amin Collection features both artistic and journalistic coverage of culture, conflict, political upheaval, wildlife, entertainment, historical observation, and an unparalleled visual chronicle of the daily life of millions of people and places from around the world.

Camerapix Archive (2020) by Trupti ShahMohamed Amin Foundation

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A mission to teach and inspire

The primary mission is to translate and share this body of work with the global public as a way to stimulate dialogue about Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Now, by telling the Mohamed Amin story through the power of photojournalism to inspire change, along with the beauty  and complexity of great photographic art, we plan to share these rare, historic moments for the first time.

Mohamed Amin with bionic arm (1991)Mohamed Amin Foundation

Africa through the lens

Much like Africa, Mohamed Amin was caught up in a tide of change from an early age. From humble roots in Dar es Salaam, he was swept up by the turmoil of a continent locked in revolution and shackled by poverty. And like Africa, his professional journey included crisis and chaos, beauty and majesty, and a deep, resonate passion for documenting and protecting the best of the Continent while moving fearlessly forward into an uncertain future. 

Mohamed Amin and Idi Amin by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

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Mo and his methods

Mohamed Amin never had to parachute into a news story. He was already on the ground working life long contacts with chefs and soldiers, shop owners and security guards, government officials and revolutionaries - relationships he’d built up during decades of tenacious networking.

Mohamed Amin in Aden by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

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Anything for the scoop

Mohamed Amin was on the ground retracing routes by Land Rover and Cessna, on motorcycles and on foot, routes through villages and slums, army forts and palaces, coffee shops and corporations, for newsrooms in Kenya, the UK, Canada and America starving for a scoop.

Mohamed Amin filming the Ethiopian famine (1984)Mohamed Amin Foundation

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The man who moved the world

Although it’s a rare and sacred thing, a singular event can change a continent and a man. When millions die as a nation uses food as a weapon of war, the worst instincts of humankind fly in the face of logic and decency. Yet, that is what happened in Ethiopia in 1984. 

Mohamed Amin filming the Ethiopian famine (1984)Mohamed Amin Foundation

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Work hard, learn, grow and be better

The famine was a tipping point for Mo personally. He became a better man and a better father. Africa changed for the better as Africans united in their humanity and quest to overcome the suffering that had long defined nations rooted in the malaise of colonialism and conflict.

Grain for Ethiopian famine (1985) by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

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Worth a thousand words

Mohamed Amin was there with his cameras to document the suffering. His images changed the world as the people of Africa and the world responded with one of the greatest acts of philanthropy in human history.

Mohamed Amin with bionic arm (1991)Mohamed Amin Foundation

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"My father's photographs are important documents of Africa's pivotal moments and people in the 20th century. The archive invites you to explore the extraordinary history of the continent and I hope they will serve as inspiration for generations to come.”
Salim Amin, Chairman of the Mohamed Amin Foundation

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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