African Design Magazine May 2016 - Page 81

Feature Photography GBLOSHIE f being both Ghanaian and ormed by how we experience our nd mostly media outlets describing for me illustrated how I was made A s a second generation Ghanaian, I felt a personal and moral obligation to begin to challenge our current understandings of Africa. Growing up, I often felt a slight sense of shame about being of African descent as the connotations of Africanism attributed to poverty, humanitarian intervention and disorder. Until I visited Africa for myself, I too believed there was no hope for the land and that they would continue needing western aid to prolong its survival. The e-waste dumpsite illustrated the west’s direct production of economic and social crisis in Agbogbloshie which exemplifies the west contribution to the problems faced in Africa. However, the current framings of this issue are far more long lasting and thus damaging to our ideas of Africa and to further its detriment. These implications urged the importance of this enquire; a motivation to uncover a voice that I believe is widely ignored in our relationship with African issues. This personal connection was both beneficial and difficult as it gave me a strong work ethic regarding the ethnography but left me emotionally affected by the discrepancies in what I discovered about life in Agbogbloshie in the city of Accra. The area receives regular visits from European journalists, academic researchers and photographers who frame their works according to a historical distortion of the African identity. The young boys who reside on the site are the most exploited group in the informal hierarchy of the recyclers. Images, interviews and even 81