I love to dress like I am coming from somewhere and I have a place to go
This picture book is a small window onto a large world. It shows everyday life in the most varied corners of the African continent, one that does not exist in the coverage provided by Western media. There is nothing spectacular or sensational about this everyday life, but it is always there. It is colorful and also banal, sometimes even contradictory, but it is always precious and genuine. In I love to dress like I am coming from somewhere and I have a place to go, Swiss photographer Flurina Rothenberger shows us a reality far from the usual stereotypes and clichés. Local and immediate, this project was made over the last ten years during the course of both personal and professional trips. Having grown up in West Africa, the artist is well aware of the ambiguities, mores, and specters of this vast continent and its 54 countries. In her sober portrayals of everyday life, whether she is quoting writers, activists, musicians, or economists, she provides an urgently needed contribution to how we view Africa–but not explicitly, and instead subtly. Because the African continent is itself subtle, hard to penetrate, and decidedly complex. Flurina Rothenberger’s first artist’s book, published in 2004 by Edition Patrick Frey, devotes itself to this complexity. I don’t know where I’m going but I’m on the way shows us the everyday life of the West African community in Zurich. It is an everyday life defined by having been torn asunder in various ways, one which rails against the many prejudices. Whether close to home or far away, Flurina Rothenberger dismantles stereotypes by documenting the actual realities she witnesses.