Only in Burundi 

This project is a collaboration with writer Eva Smallegange, graphic designer Linda Braber and curators Marga Rotteveel and Michl Sommer.’Only in Burundi’ is a foremost a book but also an installation. 

During two years Eva Smallegange (writer) and Photographer Anaïs López worked on this project. They travelled to Burundi (Central Africa) and got to know this country, its inhabitants and its culture. Through photography and writing they show contemporary Burundian life in different strata of society. Tying all these colourful stories and images together was a long process, but the results are amazing.

They succeeded in making a book with a positive outlook, containing personal stories of their guide and main narrator Koky. Koky tells about his childhood and introduces ten of his friends from different strata of society such as: the manioc miller from whom he buys his flour, the princess who was once engaged to his brother, the president and his cousin the cow herder. They share their view on what you need to survive in this intriguing country, five years after the ending of the civil war that raged for years: to get things done you need the right connections.

‘How does life go on in the aftermath of decades of genocide? This remarkably intimate and personal photobook by Anaïs López and writer Eva Smallegange presents an unexpectedly positive view of a new social order in the this small African nation. 

In many ways, this book defines a new approach to post-conflict reporting.
Personal, engaging, real, and forever memorable. Highly recommended.’

— Jim Casper –  Lens Culture

Photoville New York and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

The project ‘Only in Burundi’ was on show in Geneva at the UN (the year they signed the peace treaty), in Burundi at the French cultural center, Fotofestival Photoville (NY), Encontros da Imagem (Portugal) and in the Netherlands at the Tropenmuseum and Stedelijk. The project was one of the three finalists at The Dutch Doc Award.

Only in Burundi published in NRC


Photography: Anaïs López
Text: Eva Smallegange
Concept: Linda Braber & Anaïs López
Graphic design: Linda Braber
Editing text: Paulien Bakker

Curators: Marga Rotteveel & Michl Sommer
Photography: Anaïs López
Sound: Lisardo Fernandez Ferreiro & Anaïs López
Text: Eva Smallegange

With the financial support of Stichting Sem Presser Archief and EHM we were able to travel to Burundi and thanks to the Charema Foundation for History and Arts and the people who bought the book in advance we were able to publish this project.