young African girl leaning over railing outdoors

Ibadan, Nigeria (1976). Photo by Su Friedrich

Visual arts professor Su Friedrich presents Without Itinerary: Four Months in West Africa, an exhibition of 112 photographs and related materials.

From January to April 1976, Friedrich traveled through nine countries of North and West Africa. The trip was inspired by her childhood fascination with the continent and her studies with the political scientist Yakubu Saaka at Oberlin College.

landscape view of desert and mountains

Photo by Su Friedrich

During the four month trip, Friedrich filled three journals with accounts of her daily activities and—as an aspiring photojournalist—took black and white photographs with her Olympus camera.

As a young woman traveling alone, she was often invited to stay with people whom she met while hitchhiking, taking lorries or trains, or simply wandering the streets. As a result, many of the photographs in the exhibition feature the people who welcomed her into their homes. Samples of letters between Friedrich, her friends and family in the U.S., and her African hosts are also on display.

4 people stand for a portrait outside of a hut in Africa

Su Friedrich (second from left) in 1976. Photo courtesy Su Friedrich

A few years after returning to New York, Friedrich shifted from photography to film and has since produced and directed 24 films. In 2017 she revisited the materials from her journey through West Africa and began writing the draft of a book, tentatively titled I Still Am, which she expects to complete later this year.

Video Documentary

“Without Itinerary: Four Months in West Africa” by Su Friedrich from Su Friedrich on Vimeo.

View the Exhibition

The exhibition is free and open to Princeton students, faculty and staff.

The opening reception on March 30 from 4:30-7 PM is free and also open to the public. Free tickets required; reserve tickets for the reception through University Ticketing

Get directions to the CoLab and find other venue information for the arts complex.

COVID-19 Guidance + Updates

Per Princeton University policy, all guests are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to the maximum extent, which now includes a COVID booster shot for all eligible to receive it, and to wear a mask when indoors.


symbol for wheelchair accessibilityThe event space is wheelchair accessible. Visit our Venues and Studios section for accessibility information at our various locations. Guests in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email at least one week in advance of the event date.


Photos from the Exhibition

About Su Friedrich

su friedrich smiles with short wavy gray hair and wearing dark blazer

Photo by Alexander Tuma

Su Friedrich is an award-winning filmmaker and Professor of Visual Arts in the Lewis Center for the Arts. She has produced and directed twenty-three 16mm films and digital videos, serving as the writer, director, cinematographer, sound recordist and editor of all her films. Read Su’s full bio »

Presented By

  • Program in Visual Arts