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Up-and-coming Ghanaian photographer Kojo Amin first fell in love with the medium when he discovered his brother’s camera. Fascinated by the flash of the light and the sound of the camera, he immediately became addicted to capturing his surroundings. Inspired by his dreams and observation of people’s day-to-day activities, the photographer seeks to explore hidden meanings and secret messages, and translates that into compelling black-and-white imagery. Central to his storytelling is spotlighting different facets that comprise – the often overlooked – Ghanaian culture. Here, Kojo reflects on the new generation of West-African photographers he is part of, his series about a taboo on twins on the continent, and where he sees himself in the near future.

When was the first time you were struck by a photograph or another photographer’s work?
I enjoy the works of Ghanaian photographer and first photojournalist in Ghana James Barnor. He has powerful black-and-white photos as well as coloured photographs that capture the Ghanaian experience; his images resonate with all people. As a pioneer of photography, who started his professional photography career in 1947, James Barnor’s works captured movement and presented stories that have been a source of inspiration.

A new generation of young West-African photographers like Stephen Tayo, Daniel Obasi and Derick Boateng is emerging. What do you think of this development?
It is very exciting to have up and coming photographers from this area. The fact that Stephen, Daniel and Derick are from my region of the continent is inspiring. These artists, who are hailed as the “New Black Vanguard” have been creating works that depict the beauty and range of people of colour both in front of and behind the camera. I am excited that these artists are telling the story of our culture through their creative talent. It shows how the beauty of melanin reaches far and wide around the globe and how experiences of our people can relate to everyone.

One of your motivations in your work is to spotlight overlooked Ghanaian culture in its complexity. Could you tell us how you go about it?
I enjoy scenes in the Greater Accra region, in places where I go to think, meditate and envision future projects. It’s a serene area, the beach provides a peaceful, natural landscape full of indigenous plants that easily lends itself for compelling photographs. To creatively spotlight the culture, I focus on specific colours and allow the scene to be an inspiration for me as the photographer, as well as my models.

One of the themes in your photography is the taboo on twins in various African communities. Could you elaborate on that?

As a twin, I have been exploring this special relationship for quite some time. In the past, many had found it difficult to relate to twins in my community, because they were historically viewed as a curse to the family. Fortunately, there is now an understanding within Ghanaian society that twins are special and a blessing. As a living testimony and through my work, I share my story of being a twin and show how twins are now appreciated, blessed and honoured in the Ghanaian culture. I genuinely love to photograph twins as I relate to their connection.

How would you position yourself within the landscape of contemporary Ghanaian photography?
Firstly, it is difficult to define the contemporary Ghanaian aesthetic as Ghanaian art is multifaceted and has a wide range of colourful motifs that are typically captured in photographs. Ghanaian art has strong cultural references which are linked to storytelling and historical references from royalty to colonialism and slavery to revolts and restoring power and strength to the people. It is a feature of Ghanaian aesthetic to depict strength by capturing the darkest skin tones and powerful images. In my photos, I portray a more peaceful, simpler, beautiful layer of my community that includes promoting youth empowerment.

What are your ambitions for the near future?
I am currently in collaboration with Labour of Love NGO, which supports educational resources for students in Ghana. As Lead Photographer for this non-profit charity organisation, I am able to share my love for photography with rising young artists who share my interest in art. In addition, I look to continue to enhance my works so they can be featured in museums, magazines and art fairs. I also see myself in collaboration with popular brand names and designers as well as increase private sales of my art. I would be pleased to see my works displayed in prominent locations in Ghana and around the globe.

Kojo anim

Scion In The Sun
Giclée print on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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Cold Embrace
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Cold Embrace
Glclée print on Hahnemuhle Photo RagSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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Future Leaders
2020Giclée print on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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Sole Lamina
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Sole Lamina
Glclée print on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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Bird Dive
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Bird Dive
2020Giclée print on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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Eat & Pray
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Eat & Pray
Glclée print on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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Black Prayer
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Black Prayer
Glclée print on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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Black Lives Matter
2020Giclée print on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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Future Leaders PT2
Glclée print on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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Ball Twins
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Ball Twins
2020Giclée print on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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Future Friends
Glclée print on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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Life With Lemons
Giclée print on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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What Do You See
Glclée print on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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African Sacrifice
Glclée print on Hahnemuhle paperSuggested framing: dark wood, matted Kojo’s gentle photography showcases a constructed reality where people accept and embrace their cultural heritage and diversity. Inspired by his dreams and the intent observation of the day-to-day activities of people, he...
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