Celebrating Ghana @60 with James Barnor’s Vintage Ghana Photos

Celebrating Ghana @ 60 with James Barnor’s Vintage Ghana Photos

I first spoke to James Barnor about 6 years ago and was honoured to meet him at a Ghana Independence Day celeberations event in Kent, England about 4 years ago. Born in 1929, James Barnor is Ghana’s foremost photographer. He has seen and done it all, from photographing Ghana’s first independence day events in 1957 to representing in collections at London’s Tate Gallery. He is said to be the photographer who “decolonised” Ghana through his work.

It is, therefore, befitting that as Ghana celebrates its 60th birthday we here at MyWeku Tastes choose to do so by celebrating the efforts of those on whose shoulders others stand today. In the last few years we have built a unique collection of photographer interviews and highlighted the work of galleries such as the Nubuke Foundation that exhibit the work of these photographers. Ghana has not stood still in the last 60 years. Some of its socio-political and economic challenges have seemed overwhelming. It’s art, photography and cultural development, however, seems to be enjoying a renaissance of sorts. Once a year, in August, Accra becomes the cultural hub of Africa as the Chale Wote street art festival is celebrated in one of its historical neighbourhoods, Jamestown. There is a strong and revolutionary emergence of creative talents re-imaging and offering Ghana’s cuisine in a way that adds to this cultural renaissance.

As we celebrate Ghana at 60 and acknowledge the immense contributions of James Barnor, we hope that Ghana’s footing in the arts and its fast growing reputation as a cultural hub in Africa will continue to shine through. As we pore over the photographs below, let us remember that it is only through God’s grace manifested in unity that will continue to see us through the next decades. As the Congolese proverbs goes “One bracelet does not make a jingle.”

Celebrating Ghana @ 60 with James Barnor's Vintage Ghana Photos

Nigerian Superman, Old Polo Ground, Accra, 1957–58. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Celebrating Ghana @ 60 with James Barnor's Vintage Ghana Photos

Independence celebrations (HRH The Duchess of Kent in a procession with Governor General Sir Charles Noble Arden-Clarke, and Paramount Chief of the Ga State Nii Tackie Komey II, Accra, 1957. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Celebrating Ghana @ 60 with James Barnor's Vintage Ghana Photos

Roy Ankrah and an unknown boxer in a remote area of Ghana in 1952. Roy Ankrah was on vacation from Britain. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Celebrating Ghana @ 60 with James Barnor's Vintage Ghana Photos

Blavo and friends at a Youth Development Club party, Scout Headquarters, Accra, 1953. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Celebrating Ghana @ 60 with James Barnor's Vintage Ghana Photos

Pastor Oscar Lamptey, Mamprobi, Accra, 1955. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Celebrating Ghana @ 60 with James Barnor's Vintage Ghana Photos

Untitled, Studio X23, Accra, 1975. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Celebrating Ghana @ 60 with James Barnor's Vintage Ghana Photos

Untitled, Sick-Hagemeyer shop assistant, Accra, 1971. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Celebrating Ghana @60 with James Barnor's Vintage Ghana Photos

Mavis and Mary Barnor with an Agfa advertising ball, Accra, 1970. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Celebrating Ghana @60 with James Barnor's Vintage Ghana Photos

Accra, 1971. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Celebrating Ghana @60 with James Barnor's Vintage Ghana Photos

Boxer Roy Ankrah with his family in Accra, Ghana 1952.

Celebrating Ghana @60 with James Barnor's Vintage Ghana Photos

Untitled, Accra (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)

Celebrating Ghana @60 with James Barnor's Vintage Ghana Photos

Pastor Oscar Lamptey, Mamprobi, Accra, 1955. (James Barnor/Courtesy Autograph ABP)



There are no comments

Add yours