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Ghana: Gold Coast – The Leica digital camera Weblog


Historical past is one in every of her passions, and is usually the rationale behind her selection of journey vacation spot: In Ghana, photographer Andrea Torrei was stunned and overwhelmed by the unknown, and on the similar time learnt a lot in regards to the magnificence and energy of the ladies and kids. Her emotional and vibrant sequence speaks a few nation the place life isn’t simple – however the place folks can nonetheless dream.

What was your impulse for the sequence?

After I journey to a brand new nation, I don’t normally have a undertaking in thoughts, as I prefer to be stunned and overwhelmed by the unknown at first. It was the identical with Ghana. The undertaking developed by itself, changing into clearer to me daily. I used to be very considering seeing by my very own eyes, what was as soon as the place to begin for one of the vital tragic occasions in historical past: the transatlantic slave commerce. I visited the castles in Elmina and Cape Coast – the final reminiscence slaves had of their homeland earlier than being shipped off throughout the ocean, by no means to return. Additionally, Ghana is the primary African nation south of the Sahara to interrupt free from colonial rule and to realize independence. You’ll be able to really feel a deep sense of nation. It is rather robust. Historical past, one in every of my passions, usually makes me select the vacation spot of my travels.

What was your impression of the nation and what photographic strategy did you employ to seize it?

I found a rustic very wealthy in tradition and traditions with each robust Islamic and European influences. It’s one thing you discover after some time. Avenue images was my first strategy, letting myself see the sweetness that’s hidden within the quiet moments and seize them immediately. Time then helped me to get nearer to folks and I slowly began to take portraits. It was not simple, as many individuals don’t prefer to be photographed, so it took some time to achieve their belief.

How did you strategy the folks, contemplating that human beings are the main focus of your footage?

Persons are at all times on the core of my work. Ever since I started this journey of images, folks have at all times performed the primary function in my footage. At first, it was not as acutely aware and clear a selection as it’s now. Mutual curiosity is usually the important thing to my strategy. By some means, I at all times meet ladies. In Cape Coast I grew to become buddies with a small Islamic neighborhood I visited usually throughout my two-week keep. They welcomed me from the primary second I stepped by likelihood into their courtyard, and after that I spent a variety of time with them each day. Particularly with the ladies. We related in a short time and talked lots about our lives. It was good and attention-grabbing to share these days with them: these moments are nonetheless with me now.

What does life, regular on a regular basis life, appear like in Ghana?

It’s a really busy every day life! Numerous noises and actions, in every single place. As of daybreak, at 6 o’clock within the morning, the streets are bustling with mother and father bringing kids to highschool, ladies heading to market, others going to church of their elegant attire; whereas fishermen on the shore get set to courageous the ocean. As a photographer, it was a paradise to delve into this every day life, so regular, so vibrant.

Your footage are characterised by color. What function does color play within the nation – and to your pictures?

There are lots of beautiful works on Ghana in black and white; however for me it was positively a problem to work in color. The colors of the nation are so enticing, interesting, not simple to take care of; however I couldn’t ignore them. I used to be as soon as instructed that color makes my work very private and extra attention-grabbing. I don’t know if it’s true, however my option to work in color is said to the place and the way inspirational it’s.

A lot of your topics are kids. What significance have they got for the nation – and for you?

Youngsters are open and curious. They at all times needed and loved interacting with me. I visited a number of colleges, in each Cape Coast and Elmina, and the ladies and boys at all times requested me to spend time with them; which in fact I did with pleasure.

Your sequence is known as Gold Coast – impressed by Ghana’s export of gold. Your footage, nonetheless, present something however a golden life… Is your sequence additionally to be understood as a critique?

Or possibly there’s a golden life; however, with the intention to see it now we have to drop our western perspective. I don’t assume there is only one approach to take a look at life; not simply from one viewpoint. I met folks there who mentioned they’re very pleased with their lives, and they might by no means migrate to different international locations. Others say that lots have to be completed on many ranges – enrolment in colleges, public well being centres, and so on. the checklist is lengthy – and but they’d by no means depart the nation. Life isn’t simple there, it’s true; however folks have their goals. There may be an African dream, a Ghanaian dream. To me this was one in every of life’s massive classes.

You used a Leica Q to take your footage. What was your expertise with it, and what made it particular whereas photographing?

The Leica Q could be very strong, silent and discreet. The navigation could be very intuitive and the digital camera response could be very quick; the main focus and settings are very simple to use. Actually wonderful. And due to the 28 mm, I used to be compelled to get nearer to folks. It was an excellent pleasure to make use of it and I extremely suggest it.

What function does custom play in Ghana? And the way does it have an effect on the nation?

From what I noticed, custom performs a robust function there, because it appears to in most of Africa. Within the coastal space, the fishing villages are tightly-knit communities with their very own conventional rituals and beliefs, along with their household values. Household is the centre of life, the bedrock of all social life, the place ladies are impartial and highly effective. However in some areas disparity is entrenched. In rural areas, ladies sadly not solely face poverty, in addition they face the cultural mind-set that thwarts them from going to highschool or staying at school after main stage. Conventional gender roles stand in the way in which of ladies’s entry to training. I see lots has been completed in closing the hole between ladies and boys in terms of training, and the federal government is attempting to interrupt the custom that desires ladies to remain at house. There’s a protracted method to go.

Colors and lightweight as narrative, as feelings, as enhances. Andrea Torrei is an Italian photographer based mostly in Rome, Italy. She works in each black and white and in color, however she has largely been exploring the latter, and its robust function in evoking emotions. From portraiture to documentary, from road to panorama, the core of her work centres primarily and normally round folks of their peculiar, on a regular basis lives. Discover out extra about her images on her web site and Instagram Web page.



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