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Travelling, African dictator style


Posted by Eliza Williams, 6 October 2010, 12:26    Permalink    Comments (16)

As there is so much excellent work at the Brighton Photo Biennial this year, I'm going to put up a series of blog posts looking at some of the shows in more depth. First up is a series of photographs by Nick Gleis which reveal the interior opulence of the private jets owned by African dictators in the 1960s and 70s.


The photos, which belong to the Archive of Modern Conflict, are on show as part of an installation of vernacular photography at Fabrica art gallery in Brighton. Gleis has declined to reveal who's jet these photos are taken in (I'm guessing they are all from the same one but perhaps it is two different planes), and the interior designer is also unknown, but the images all scream 70s glamour at its most extreme.

Visit Fabrica before November 28 to see more from the series. More info on the Brighton Photo Biennial can be found at


Circa 1970? Gaddafi, Bokassa, Mobutu or Idi Amin, but this kind of flash has got to be Mobutu... although Bokassa once spent $20 millions on a "party".
Simera Brand Media
2010-10-06 15:20:44

I want a replica!
2010-10-06 20:39:33

Saw these on display at Fabrica. They had made room out to like the interior of a plane, with curved walls, it was very good!`
Karen Keward
2010-10-06 21:52:34

when you think about how poor the people are, this sickens me
2010-10-06 22:00:58

real life James Bond villains.
2010-10-07 10:16:56

Do people really live like this?!
Sam McMillen
2010-10-07 13:52:10

"Opulence. I has it."
2010-10-07 19:12:29

and all of the people living in tribes in the whole continent - > GO TO HELL diictators...
2010-10-08 10:48:05

Well, given the opportunity I think I'd be tempted to go for it.
Dr Black
2010-10-08 12:42:47

Immoral greed.
jim watters
2010-10-08 12:54:01

Shame all their money comes from the western world in the form of 'aid'.

This isn't just disgusting, it's globally criminal.
2010-10-08 12:56:30

No windows? Or are they blacked out? I'd like to see the toilets..
2010-10-08 12:58:51

dont worry, the money for all that luxory is right back in your/our hands. these jets sure werent built in africa :) these are clearly products of the western world on the northern hemisphere - sold to the smartest african leaders of the 60s and 70s
2010-10-08 13:11:41

Well worth checking Nick's site for some more images if you can't make the exhibition - remarkable interiors !
Liverpool Photographer
2010-10-08 14:22:06

"Have we taken off yet? OK, so where are my bunny girls at?!"
Graphic Design Manchester
2010-10-10 13:06:47

Particularly after browsing Nick's website, I believe the "African Dictators of the 60's and 70's" may be simply a fabricated backstory to add more interest. The guy takes pictures of airplane interiors in the same straightforward manner of a wedding photographer. All the interiors are tacky and over the top but look to be from the present day, no doubt owned by customers who have more money than taste. You can tell the above interiors are not period through their use of fiber optic and LED lighting, fabric and material choice & condition, etc. Perhaps the plane in question has been refitted by its current owner.
Alex Ellsworth
2014-01-16 16:05:00

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