Akili - (Kiswahili) noun - mind, intelligence, wisdom



Francesca originally set up Akilipix as an umbrella organisation in which to form effective collaborations for delivering visually powerful media and public engagement strategies. Driven by her broad experience in all aspects of visual asset creation, editorial tone of voice, production, branding, writing, editing and workflow for both digital and print, Akilipix embraced her full skillset, not just as a photographer, but as a strong visual arts professional with over twenty years experience in a range of industries from journalism and academic publishing, to marketing, advertising and curating.

Francesca Snelling

Having worked as a journalist, photographer, picture editor, researcher and curator of compelling images for print and digital platforms, museums and galleries, Francesca's work is born from a passion for telling stories - through images, words and objects - as well as communicating research and developing arresting and perception-changing content.

Francesca now combines this with her own work as a freelance photographer. Her diverse background and years of experience in almost every aspect of the image industry gives her the ability to execute a wide range of jobs for editorial, marketing, production and publishing companies, museums, photographers, corporate clients, NGO’s and content providers.

Recently graduated with a distinction in a Master of Arts degree in History of Art with Photography from Birkbeck, University of London, her photographic practice  and curatorial work are often intertwined with her research interests. Francesca's personal focus is on public engagement and widening access to corporate and institutional archives and collections, as well as media analysis, particularly the imperceptible effects photographs can potentially have in shaping our worldview & politics.




After a degree in History of Art and English at Cambridge University, Francesca worked as a photo editor for international news agencies, first Agence France Press on their Asia desk in Hong Kong, followed by a seven year stint at Reuters on their Europe Middle East and Africa desk, then based in London. Having been born in Kenya, her growing interest in East Africa and its portrayal in the western media compelled her to move to Tanzania in 2002, a country she chose due to its position off the beaten track of the general news agenda.

After several years in its capital Dar es Salaam, working in publishing, advertising and as an editorial consultant, she moved to the island of Zanzibar and set up Akilipix in 2010, dedicated to combining her passion for photography and the written word, with particular focus on its ability to engage with the public by powerfully communicating social, cultural and historical issues.

Francesca's pictures and articles have been published in The Scottish Mail on Sunday, Expressen (Sweden), Swiss Architectural Magazine TECH 21, British Vogue, Conde Nast Traveller, Yoga UK and USA editions, and numerous East African publications, both newspapers and magazines. Her ongoing NGO clients have included the Zanzibar Outreach Program, The Touch Foundation (New York), Muhimbili Wellcome Program (Wellcome Trust, UK) and The Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.









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