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Ghana: Gold Coast – The Leica digital camera Weblog

Historical past is one in all her passions, and is commonly the explanation behind her alternative of journey vacation spot: In Ghana, photographer Andrea Torrei was stunned and overwhelmed by the unknown, and on the identical time learnt a lot concerning the magnificence and energy of the ladies and youngsters. Her emotional and vibrant collection speaks a few nation the place life is just not simple – however the place individuals can nonetheless dream.

What was your impulse for the collection?
Once I journey to a brand new nation, I don’t often have a challenge in thoughts, as I wish to be stunned and overwhelmed by the unknown at first. It was the identical with Ghana. The challenge developed by itself, changing into clearer to me daily. I used to be very all in favour of seeing by my very own eyes, what was as soon as the start line for probably the most 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 attain independence. You possibly can really feel a deep sense of nation. It is extremely sturdy. Historical past, one in all my passions, typically makes me select the vacation spot of my travels.

What was your impression of the nation and what photographic method did you employ to seize it?
I found a rustic very wealthy in tradition and traditions with each sturdy Islamic and European influences. It’s one thing you discover after some time. Avenue pictures was my first method, letting myself see the sweetness that’s hidden within the quiet moments and seize them immediately. Time then helped me to get nearer to individuals and I slowly began to take portraits. It was not simple, as many individuals don’t wish to be photographed, so it took some time to realize their belief.

How did you method the individuals, contemplating that human beings are the main focus of your photos?
Persons are at all times on the core of my work. Ever since I started this journey of pictures, individuals have at all times performed the primary position in my photos. At first, it was not as acutely aware and clear a alternative as it’s now. Mutual curiosity is commonly the important thing to my method. By some means, I at all times meet girls. In Cape Coast I turned associates with a small Islamic neighborhood I visited typically throughout my two-week keep. They welcomed me from the primary second I stepped by probability into their courtyard, and after that I spent lots of time with them daily. Particularly with the ladies. We linked in a short time and talked loads about our lives. It was good and fascinating to share these days with them: these moments are nonetheless with me now.

What does life, regular on a regular basis life, appear to be in Ghana?
It’s a really busy day by day life! Plenty of noises and actions, in every single place. As of daybreak, at 6 o’clock within the morning, the streets are bustling with dad and mom bringing youngsters to high school, girls heading to market, others going to church of their elegant clothes; whereas fishermen on the shore get set to courageous the ocean. As a photographer, it was a paradise to delve into this day by day life, so regular, so vibrant.

Your photos are characterised by color. What position does color play within the nation – and in your pictures?
There are various gorgeous works on Ghana in black and white; however for me it was undoubtedly a problem to work in color. The colors of the nation are so enticing, interesting, not simple to cope with; however I couldn’t ignore them. I used to be as soon as instructed that color makes my work very private and extra fascinating. 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.

Lots of your topics are youngsters. What significance have they got for the nation – and for you?
Youngsters are open and curious. They at all times wished 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 collection is named Gold Coast – impressed by Ghana’s export of gold. Your photos, nevertheless, present something however a golden life… Is your collection additionally to be understood as a critique?
Or possibly there’s a golden life; however, with a purpose to see it we have now to drop our western perspective. I don’t suppose there is only one approach to take a look at life; not simply from one perspective. I met individuals there who mentioned they’re very proud of their lives, and they’d by no means migrate to different international locations. Others say that loads should be completed on many ranges – enrolment in colleges, public well being centres, and so forth. the checklist is lengthy – and but they might by no means go away the nation. Life is just not simple there, it’s true; however individuals have their desires. There’s an African dream, a Ghanaian dream. To me this was one in all life’s massive classes.

You used a Leica Q to take your photos. What was your expertise with it, and what made it particular whereas photographing?
The Leica Q may be very sturdy, silent and discreet. The navigation may be very intuitive and the digital camera response may be very quick; the main focus and settings are very simple to use. Actually superb. And due to the 28 mm, I used to be pressured to get nearer to individuals. It was an incredible pleasure to make use of it and I extremely advocate it.

What position does custom play in Ghana? And the way does it have an effect on the nation?
From what I noticed, custom performs a powerful position 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 girls are impartial and highly effective. However in some areas disparity is entrenched. In rural areas, women sadly not solely face poverty, additionally they face the cultural mind-set that thwarts them from going to high school or staying at school after main degree. Conventional gender roles stand in the way in which of ladies’s entry to training. I see loads has been completed in closing the hole between women and boys in the case of training, and the federal government is making an attempt to interrupt the custom that desires girls to remain at dwelling. There’s an extended strategy to go.

Colors and light-weight 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 principally been exploring the latter, and its sturdy position in evoking emotions. From portraiture to documentary, from avenue to panorama, the core of her work centres primarily and often round individuals of their unusual, on a regular basis lives. Discover out extra about her pictures on her web site and Instagram Web page.

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