Northern Ghana Life

In collaboration with Nuku Studio and Noorderlicht

15 September - 15 November 2018

Exhibition opening: 15 September 2018, 11am

Venue: Learning Centre for Photography and Research, Tamale

For three years, 10 Ghanaian and international photographers have made a visual documentation of the society and landscape of Northern Ghana. Their various perspectives allow a nuanced and visually dynamic photographic insight into the richness, beauty, and uniqueness of the region. Northern Ghana has rarely been the subject of collaborative photographic research, and in a historical and a photographic sense we may even go as far as to call it a terra incognita. The stories by the photographers invite us to explore the diverse and dynamic region that is Northern Ghana. They provide a visual interpretation of a largely undocumented landscape, and document its current state-of-affairs for future generations:

  • Abdulai Adam (Ghana): “The Wantugu Village photographer” (archive works from the 1960s and 1970s)

  • Dennis Akuoku-Frimpong (Ghana): “The fire festival in Tamale”

  • Geoffrey Buta (Ghana)

  • Peter DiCampo (USA): “What Went Wrong - failed NGO and investment projects in Northern Ghana”

  • Eric Gyamfi (Ghana): “Female paramount chiefs of Dagbon”

  • Francis Kokoroko (Ghana): “Tamale’s growing ‘middle class’”

  • Benedicte Kurzen (France): “Religion”

  • Gerard Nartey (Ghana): “The shea butter industry”

  • Seton Nicholas (Ghana): “Funeral of the Nanton Naa and enstoolment of the Regent”

  • Nii Obodai (Ghana): “Messengers of the Gods - the telling of consequences of conflict on the landscape and people in northern Ghana”

  • Nii Obodai (Ghana): “Chiefs and their courts, Gonja and Dagomba”

  • Patrick Willocq (France): “One finger cannot pick a stone - traditions and modernity”

The photography project is in collaboration with an academic project involving four universities (University of Ghana in Legon, University of Development Studies in Wa and Tamale, Leiden University and University of Groningen, The Netherlands), and six PhD students who conducted research into the society and history of Northern Ghana, specifically on two peoples: the Dagomba and the Gonja.

Nuku Studio is a space, an institution, a community that is strongly connected to the place it finds itself in – Ghana. It provides an innovative and productive support system for sustainable artistic and professional photographic practice. Nuku Studio creates and grows a self-sustained photography community and network. A space for learning, teaching and mentorship, Nuku Studio is a springboard for photographers into the world. It connects the local photography community with the broader global scene through international partnerships, for example with World Press Photo Foundation. Nuku’s activities include: photography and research projects, collaborations and partnerships, exhibitions and publications, archiving and conservation activities, photographic debates and conferences, portfolio reviews, residencies and festivals, and more.

Noorderlicht | House of Photography is a many-faceted and international platform, originally only for documentary photography, but now for any photographer who has a good story to tell. With a sharp eye for new developments, but averse to trends and hype, Noorderlicht devotes attention to the photography of the world and to the world of photography by organising an annual photography festival, programming exhibitions in its photo gallery, organising photographic commissions and arranging discussions, lectures and masterclasses. Noorderlicht provides an educational programme, and also publishes exceptional catalogues and photo books. Exhibitions tour worldwide, and have been seen in the United States, Syria, Australia, Indonesia and other lands.