Pieter Hugo: This Must Be the Place

TJ Demos & Aaron Schuma

This book is an enthralling collection of portraits of Africa’s intense and sometimes tragic beauty, which showcases the award-winning photographer, Pieter Hugo’s most important images to date.

Hugo has been documenting scenes from his native continent since the 1990s. This Must Be the Place is a retrospective of some of the artist’s most significant images, which comment on the post-colonial aspects of much of African society, looking at environmental, economic and social issues. Some of the most poignant images are from his Agbogbloshie Market (2009) series, which depicts people picking through an electronics wasteland in search of precious metals. These images are hugely significant – they make you re-examine our disposable culture, and Hugo makes it impossible to ignore.

This book goes beyond a photo-essay; Hugo’s images are evocative. There is a great sense of urgency and immediacy within these works that provide a reading of 21st century contemporary life in present-day Africa. In one word: phenomenal.

Cherie Federico