Ghana’s first photo festival – Nuku Festival – will run from 12 to 21 September 2018. A variety of events – exhibitions, art talks, conference, portfolio review, artist-in-residency, and more – will take place in Accra, Tamale, Wa and Kumasi. Some 40 Ghanaian and international photographers will invite the audience to discover photography from across Ghana and beyond.
“Nuku Photo Festival Ghana is the country’s first festival for photographic encounters, exchanges, and story-telling. Our vision is to create a space for artistic explorations and exchanges. For this first edition, we have curated a diverse programme in cooperation with local and international partners that showcases the works of 40 both established and up-and-coming photographers and visual artists,” says Nii Obodai, Founder of Nuku Studio and Director of Nuku Photo Festival.
The festival will open on 12 September 2018 at Jamestown Café in Accra, with an exhibition organised by photographers Francis Kokoroko and Eric Gyamfi. Under the title “Daily Graphic”, the exhibition pays tribute to Ghana’s foremost state-owned newspaper, while presenting another phenomenon of the daily ‘graphic’; the new modes of how photography is being used today, how it is produced, used and distributed thanks to digital developments of recent years. It features the works of several Ghanaian and Ghana-based photographers, including Nana Kofi Acquah, Ofoe Amegavie, Deryk Owusu Bempah, George Alhassan, Ruth MacDowall, and others.
On 14 September, the exhibition “Women & Work”, organised in collaboration with Lensational, will open at Alliance Française in Kumasi. It showcases the first photography project of six young women and girls aged 14 to 28 from Ho who have found a new voice in photography to express themselves and their view of the world they live in.
On 15 September in Tamale, the exhibition and book “Northern Ghana Life” will be launched in collaboration with Nuku Studio and Noorderlicht (House of Photography in The Netherlands). For three years, 11 Ghanaian and international photographers have made a visual documentation of the society and landscape of Northern Ghana: Abdulai Adam, Dennis Akuoku-Frimpong, Geoffrey Buta, Peter DiCampo, Eric Gyamfi, Francis Kokoroko, Benedicte Kurzen, Gerard Nartey, Seton Nicholas, Nii Obodai, and Patrick Willocq.
An outtake of this exhibition will be presented in cooperation with University for Development Studies Wa Campus and Nubuke Foundation at the newly established Centre for Textiles and Clay in Loho, just outside of Wa. The opening date will be announced shortly.
On 17 September, at BaseCamp Initiative in Accra, a Conference organised in cooperation with Nubuke Foundation will explore various perspectives of the photography business. Moderated by Bianca Manu (Nubuke Foundation), speakers such as David Campbell, World Press Photo Foundation; Victoria Cooke, Gallery 1957; Korieh Duodu, Egality Law; Christine Cibert, Maputo-based curator; and others; will share their expertise on a variety of topics including story-telling, the reality of the photography market and professional art community, and copyrights.
On 18 September at Nuku House, Accra’s photographers have the opportunity to take part in a Portfolio Review with photographers Nana Kofi Acquah and Nii Obodai, Marc Prüst (Nuku Photo Festival), and David Campbell (World Press Photo Foundation). In the evening, the photography community is invited to the Nuku House for an evening of networking, exchanges, music and more.
Also on 18 September, at Jamestown Café in Accra, two exhibitions will open: “Madrinhas de guerra: outside of darkness, inside the light” by Mozambican photographer Amilton Neves, curated by Christine Cibert; and “Foreseen: New Narratives from the African Photojournalism Database (APJD)”. The later is a collaboration with World Press Photo Foundation and Everyday Africa. It showcases works of 13 emerging visual storytellers – chosen out of the APJD’s community of 350 photographers from various African countries. Their ambition is to challenge external perceptions of the African continent, and redefine what should be seen, and how, in the future. Exhibiting photographer Leke Alabi-Isama (Nigeria) and David Campbell will be present.
On 19 September, a gathering at Nuku House in Accra organised in collaboration with Nuku Studio, Nubuke Foundation and Lensational will be dedicated to “Women in Photography”. We work to encourage and support more women to enter the photography scene, which is still very male-dominated. The event will invite for an open exchange about opportunities and challenges of female photographers, and showcase a series of female voices, including Accra-based photographers Elsie A. Tachie-Menson (Ghana), Ruth McDowall (New Zealand) and Natalija Gormalova (Latvia).
On 20 September, at Alliance Française in Accra, an exhibition by Nuku Festival photographer-in-residence Robert Charlotte will open. The photographer from Martinique will present a new body of work, developed during his one-month residency which is supported by Institut Français, Fondation Clément, Alliance Française Accra, and the Embassy of France in Accra.
On 21 September at Gallery 1957 in Accra, the Nuku Festival will close – with an exhibition opening. Founder’s Day is perfect timing to open the exhibition “Life According to James Barnor”. It will showcase Barnor’s photographs of Ghana and the United Kingdom from 1948 to 1980. The exhibition is organised in collaboration with Gallery 1957 and Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière, and supported by Institut Français, Alliance Française Accra, and the Embassy of France in Accra. The open event will also include an Art Talk, a closing reception and a concert.
More exhibitions and art talks will take place throughout the festival week, amongst others, at @TheStudioAccra. A series of screenings of photographic works from across the continent will be organised in various communities across Accra in collaboration with Everyday Africa. Details to be announced shortly.