Vanishing Africa

Vanishing Africa is the title of the 1982 English-language translation of German film director Leni Riefenstahl's Mein Afrika, an illustrations book published in the same year in Germany. It was published by Harmony Books in the United States.

Vanishing Africa
AuthorLeni Riefenstahl
Original titleMein Afrika
IllustratorLeni Riefenstahl
CountryUnited States, Germany
LanguageEnglish (translated), German
PublisherList (Germany) Harmony (US)
Publication date
Published in English
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
779/.99676 19
LC ClassDT365.19 .R53 1982
Preceded byKorallengärten 


The pictures are evidence of Riefenstahl's passion for Africa and an attempt to capture the region's soul before it lost its innocence to the technical age.[1]


The most well-known critical reaction to Riefenstahl's photography of the Nuba came from the American intellectual, Susan Sontag. Sontag scrutinized the "fascist aesthetics" of the works in her widely read essay "Fascinating Fascism". Writing in the New York Review of Books in 1975, she stated: "The fascist dramaturgy centers on the orgiastic transactions between mighty forces and their puppets". She continued "Its choreography alternates between ceaseless motion and a congealed, static, 'virile' posing. Sontag wrote that the collection was the "final, necessary step in Riefenstahl's rehabilitation. It is the final rewrite of the past; or, for her partisans, the definitive confirmation that she was always a beauty-freak rather than a horrid propagandist."[2]


  1. Leni Riefenstahl-Africa
  2. Sontag, Susan (February 6, 1975). "Fascinating Fascism". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
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