The Dutch journalist Frits Eisenloeffel (1944-2001) captured the decolonization, liberation struggle and rebuilding process of various African nations during his travels on the African continent in the 1970s. Eisenloeffel was a committed journalist. In his eyes, journalism and engagement went very well together.
Frits Eisenloeffel started his travels in the Portuguese colonies of Guinea-Bissau, Cabo Verde and Mozambique. In 1975 he followed the future president Samora Machel of Mozambique on his tour through the country to prepare for the official transfer of power. In 1978 he visited Namibia to report on the elections. On he went to Zaïre and Senegal. In the 1980's Eisenloeffel was very much captivated by the spirit of the Eritrean Liberation Front. He was the first journalist to report on the use of nerve gas by the Ethiopian army.
From 1983 to 1985 he worked extensively in Eritrea and the border area with Sudan, partly as a reporter and partly on a fact-finding mission in assignment of Dutch aid organizations.
The vast journalistic inheritance of Frits Eisenloeffel, including 20.000 slides now rests at the IISH. Out of these twenty thousand pictures, over three thousand are high-resolution digitized and described by Ben Krewinkel. Ben Krewinkel is a photographer and he studied Modern African History. A selection of his photographs taken on the African continent is presented here.
Read more on Frits Eisenloeffels African travels
Or go directly to his photographs on:
- Mozambique 1975, Building of the Cahora Bassa Dam
- Angola 1975, May Day and Textile Workers
- Namibia 1978, Elections and Migrant Workers
- Senegal 1978, General elections
- Cabo Verde 1981, Reforestation and Land Reform
- Guinea Bissau 1974, Transfer of Power
- Eritrea 1980, War of independence
- Sudan 1980 and 1985, Refugees and Famine
Copyright of the photographs rests with Immeke Sixma.