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Photography Carlos Idun-Tawiah

10 fast-rising Ghanaian photographers changing the world with their lens

Celebrating 64 years of Ghanaian independence, here are some of the country’s best young photographers, including Carlos Idun-Tawiah, David Nana Opoku Ansah, and Michael Aboya

It’s taken over a century for African photography to be recognised as it should worldwide, and the art form and its artists have been blossoming. Photography in Ghana, on the world stage, was long defined by press imagery and propaganda, focusing on the major struggles for an independent Ghana. Today, a new cohort intricately portrays the transition from colonialism through the early heady days of independence and into an sometimes bleak, sometimes thriving present. Always, there is a celebration and drive to showcase the African spice of life and art, a unique variety that challenges clichés of both the colonial and postcolonial era.

In the last few decades, pace-setters from James Barnor of Ghana, Seydou Keita, Malick Sidibe from Mali, and J.D. Okhai Ojeikere in Lagos, Nigeria have captured the beauty of the continent for a global audience. In Ghana’s case, there is J.K. Bruce Vanderpuije, Francis K.Honey, and Philip Kwame Apagya. Born in the time of a creative renaissance with a newly independent Ghana, Apagya challenged the norms and methods of studio portraiture by introducing novel photography concepts, rich with Ghanaian culture.

One of Ghana’s only truly celebrated female photographers Felicia Abban used fashion photography, portraiture, and hard-hitting film documentaries to portray the reality of life in the deepest parts of Ghana. Renowned for her self-shot portraits, she captures images anticipating nights out on the town or political protest with equal fervour.

Their spirit and motivations to capture the real and authentic Ghanaian lives inspire today’s generation of photographers and filmmakers to connect the world to the culture and history of their people. In honour of Ghana’s photographic scene, 64 years after independence, here are some of the country’s best young photographers, who like their predecessors, draw inspiration from the culture and natural aesthetics of their homeland.