Wednesday, November 19, 2008

LIFE iconic images from Kenya

Google has just put online the entire collection of photos from the legendary but now defunct LIFE magazine including some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. Millions of images have been scanned and made available on Google Image Search. Only a small percentage (3%) of these images have ever been published. The rest (97%) have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings and prints. The photos are available for free for personal and research purposes.

The good news for Kenyans and friends of Kenya is that the LIFE database contains some interesting historic images about Kenya as well. Let me give you some examples:

Natives loading the ships.
Location: Mombasa, Kenya
Date taken: July 1947
Photographer: Eliot Elisofon

Labor leader Thomas J. Mboya in front of his house.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Date taken: September 1959
Photographer: Eliot Elisofon

Kenyan Olympic team returning from Mexico with track star Naftali Temu being carried on shoulders.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Date taken: November 1968
Photographer: George Silk

Mirella Ricciardi (R), internationally known photographer and author of the book "Vanishing Africa", preparing to photograph a Masai tribeswoman wearing traditional decorative beadwork.
Location: Kenya
Date taken: April 1971
Photographer: Carlo Bavagnoli

8 comments:

Shiko-Msa said...

Good old days when even big houses did not need gates extending to high heaven with spikes, broken bottles and live electricity. And people just packed their cars outside.

Maua said...

Never heard of Naphtali Temu, now I'll dig. The Masai model, I'm sure her photos cost a fortune, but how much did she get?

Off to google.

Rafiki said...

Shiko: There must be places on Earth where this kind of living is still possible, and that's where I would like to retire.

Maua: Naftali Temu was a Kenyan athlete, who won the 10.000 metres at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. But that was also before I saw the light on this planet.
Good point about the Masai model, she probably never signed any agreement with the photographer.

kirima said...

Very nice pictures from those days I am thoroughly enjoying going through the rest of them

Rafiki said...

kirima: I can imagine this old collection must be very good fun for photographers like you. Even for others they are quite nice to browse through.

acolyte said...

Thank you for the link! I shall be looking through those today.

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