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Conference: "Photography in Flux"

  • BaseCamp Initiative, Accra Crystal Park Accra Ghana (map)
 Photo by Nii Obodai

Photo by Nii Obodai

On 19 September, at BaseCamp Initiative in Accra, the Conference “Photography in Flux” is organised in cooperation with Nubuke Foundation.

Photography in Flux is a series of conversations reflecting on the history, function and relevance of imagery in Ghana. Join us as we look at the evolution of photography – from founding institutions such as the Deo Gratias studio established in 1922 Jamestown Accra, printers in new town Osu to modern mavericks like Horace Mensah who has received international acclaim for his iPhone 6 photography. From film to digital, there’s no denying the power and relevance of photography today.  

The programme includes speakers Mr Kofi Yeboah and Mr Tetteh (Deo Gratias), Heather Badger (Artivity), curator Christine Cibert, Dr Stacie CC Graham (Colour Balance Images), and Allotey Bruce-Konuah (archiving project 'Everyoung JBA'), photographers Horace Mensah (Ghana), Leke Alabi-Isama (Nigeria), Rodney Quarcoo (Ghana) and Amilton Neves (Mozambique), and curator and researcher Adjoa Armah. Our keynote speaker is writer, professor and Director of Communications and Engagement at the World Press Photo Foundation in Amsterdam, David Campbell. The Conference is programmed by curator Bianca Ama Manu, Nubuke Foundation.

With an introduction by Nii Obodai, Nuku Photo Festival Ghana, and closing remarks by Conference Moderator Bianca Manu.

Speakers

David Campbell is a writer, professor and producer and the current Director of Communications and Engagement at the World Press Photo Foundation in Amsterdam. In that role, he is responsible for the team that manages the foundation’s communications strategy as well as programmes and outreach. David began his career as a press secretary for an Australian senator, before completing a Ph.D. in International Relations. For the past 30 years, he has taught visual culture, geography, politics, and multimedia journalism at universities in Australia, Britain, China, and the United States, and is currently an Honorary Professor in the University of Queensland’s School of Political Science and International Studies. David filmed "Home," a series of videos for the West End Refugee Service in Newcastle (UK) and produced “Laygate Stories” in collaboration with Peter Fryer. He has authored three academic monographs and numerous essays, written for many photography publications, co-hosted and produced the Multimedia Week podcast, and served as the secretary to the World Press Photo General Jury for the 2014 and 2015 contests. See more at www.david-campbell.org.

Mr Kofi Yeboah and Mr Tetteh represent Deo Gratias photo studio in James Town, Accra, the oldest of its kind in the city. “Established by (…) James Koblah Bruce-Vanderpuije in 1922, it earned a reputation for documenting key events in the country’s history,” writes Billie McTernan in her article about Deo Gratias.

Christine Cibert has been an independent art curator for more than 20 years, organising numerous exhibitions of photographers and painters in the various countries where she has lived or in relation with them, such as in France (where she is from), Japan, Cambodia, North Korea, Switzerland and, currently in Mozambique, but also in Myanmar and Ghana. She has collaborated with art galleries, museums and foundations (Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Musée Guimet, Musée de l’Elysée Museum, Foundation Gilles Caron, Foundaçao Fernando Leite Couto), also with cultural centers (L’Institut Français in Tokyo, Kyoto and Fukuoka, le Centre Culturel Franco-Mozambican) and with photography festivals (Angkor Photo Festival, Rangoon Photo Festival, Japan Culture Fall in Geneva, Kyotographie, Nuku Photo Festival Ghana, Maputo Fast Forward).

Dr Stacie CC Graham is the founding director of Colour Balance Images, a new two-sided marketplace licensing royalty-free and rights-managed still images, illustrations and footage featuring culturally, ethnically and racially diverse people, communities and environments. Colour Balance Images seeks to provide authentic representation for regions often underserved and misrepresented. Previously a management consultant at an internationally renowned consultancy, Dr Graham also works as an independent management consultant and business coach based in London, UK. She has extensive work experience in the US, the UK, and Germany. She has an MS in economics and a doctorate in motivational psychology.

Horace Mensah Jnr (22) is an Apple certified photographer and runner up to the just ended Portraits Ghana Competition. He is currently in his final year at Radford University studying Graphic Design. He had his photo featured twice on apple’s Instagram account and was a keynote speaker during the recent launch of the new iPhones. He just had two art exhibitions.

Adjoa Armah an independent curator and design anthropologist based between London and Accra. In 2015 she founded 'Saman Archive’, an archive of photographic negatives collected across Ghana. The word ‘saman’ is an Akan word sometimes used to describe the photographic image in Akan speaking parts of Ghana, it can be translated as ‘ghost’ in English. To date, the archive numbers approximately 30,000 images, taken between approximately 1963 and 2010, collected from dozens of photographers across the country. In autumn 2017, she began working towards a PhD at Royal College of Art in Curating Contemporary Art. The working title of her research is ‘Making Saman Archive: Curating Contact Through the Vernacular Photography of Ghana.’

Amilton Neves is a professional photographer based in Mozambique whose work examines contemporary societal issues using storytelling and documentary techniques. His past and current projects focus on addressing perceptions of individuals who find themselves at the margins of society through narratives of empowerment while preserving often forgotten aspects of our modern history. Amilton has participated in training courses at the Sooke Photography School in Canada and Nuku Studio in Ghana, and has been prominently featured several times at the Franco Moçambicano Cultural Center. His work has been exhibited in Mozambique, Ghana, Portugal, Brazil, Ethiopia and Canada. In addition to pursuing his independent projects, Amilton also works as a freelance documentary photographer throughout Africa. 

Allotey Bruce-Konuah set up and run the digital section of Photofusion in London England (http://www.photofusion.org/) to build photographers’ digitising capacity at the beginning of the digital revolution. About 15 years ago, he was the first to digitise James Barnor's work from the 1950's, which inspired his current archiving project 'Everyoung JBA' (www.everyoungjba.org). As part of this project he has curated an exhibition of James Barnor's work 'Jamestown Revisited' as part of the Ghana's 60-years Independence Celebrations at the ArchiAfrika Foundation Gallery in Usshertown, Accra.

Francis Nii Obodai Provençal is a photographer based in Accra, Ghana and Maputo, Mozambique. His photography investigates aspects of the complex relationships within urban and rural culture, recording the dynamic reality of our spirituality and environment, telling stories of the people he connects with. He has exhibited widely, including Addis Foto Fest (Ethiopia), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, USA), Rencontres de Bamako (Mali), Alliance Française Accra (Ghana), Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK), Moesegaard Museum (Aarhus, Denmark). Nii Obodai is a founding member of the Accra based Beyond Collective. In 1998, Nii Obodai established Nuku Café in Accra which has now evolved into Nuku Studio. 

Bianca Ama Manu is a Ghanaian British curator, producer and writer invested in public and performance art and photography. Her recent partnerships include British Council, Netherlands Embassy (Ghana), Sheffield International Documentary Festival and her role as curator for Nubuke Foundation, an Arts foundation in Accra. She previously worked as curator for environmental arts organisation, Invisible Dust to produce events and exhibitions at the Houses of Parliament, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London. Her interests are in art for social change and commentary, particularly art exploring socio-political, environmental, new media and identity matters. She is published in the graduate edition of international bestseller, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, and her writing portfolio includes the Guardian, Channel 4 and BBC World Service. She has worked as a copywriter for commercial animation company Aniboxx, and recorded voiceovers for clients including Channel 4 and Barclays.