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Photography & Spoken Word

PHOTOGRAPHER Eric Gyamfi CELEBRATES Ghanaian LGBT community with LATEST PROJECT

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Ghanaian -born photographer Eric Gyamfi documents the lives of a section of Ghanaian LGBT families with compelling   new pieces for the New York Times.

Titled “Just Like Us”, the projects offers rare everyday images of  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in a country where it remains illegal.

S. meets A., her girlfriend, after work. S. is a musician and A. is studying feminism and climate change for her master’s degree.
Names have been abbreviated to protect the subjects in these photos.

H., A., O., M., and Y. hanging out on a weekend when one of H.’s friends got married.

Some of the L.G.B.T. community members organize a night of dance after an International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia event as a way to get to know other community members and network.

Sunday at the beach with K.

A. doing her friend I.’s hair. N., the young boy who leans on I.’s legs, is her son from a previous relationship.

C., who is Hindu, teaches children at the Mandir. C. is the only Hindu in an otherwise Christian family. “I had to find a way to stay religious without feeling nervous or guilty about my sexuality. Here, at the temple, I find that peace, rid of all forms of guilt,” he said. His siblings visit the Mandir with him every once in a while.

“Someday, soon, I’d have to live as a straight man,” J. told the photographer one afternoon after school. “I think about that every day.”

O. lives with H. in his family house. She considers H. a brother.

H. performing in drag.

H. and his boyfriend, M.

S., who is gay, contemplating his imminent marriage to a woman. His wife was selected for him by his family. “I need a child,” he said. “My parents are demanding a grandchild, too.”

K., A.’s boyfriend, spending a hot afternoon outside with friends.

L. and N. met through a mutual friend and have been together since September 2014. L. moved out of her home when she was 17 and has been living on her own since. “I try not to make friends. That way, I keep people away from my private life as their questions and suspicions never get answered nor confirmed,” she told the photographer. “We keep a close circle of friends who are mostly just like us. It’s not the best way to live but it has worked for us thus far.”

A. after a dance session. “My stepfather is very open minded,” he said. “I can sense that he is not so happy about dance as he doesn’t think I can make a career out of it. but he is happy that I am happy when I dance so that’s good for me. The first song I usually dance to is my father’s.”

H.’s family making spring rolls and pies for O.’s mother’s funeral celebration. H. played a key role in the organization of the funeral rites with O.’s family.

A. examining herself in her bathroom mirror.

N., R., and N.’s nephew cleaning in the morning. N. and R. have been together for nearly two years and live together. N. is a chef and R. is a musician.

A. and K., and little A., making rice balls for lunch. A. and K. are a couple and have been living together for almost two years. Little A., who lives in the same compound house, spends time with them when she is not school.

 

Photo credit: Eric Gyamfi /Nytimes.com

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Photography & Spoken Word

VIDEO: Love Yourself – Poetra Asantewaa

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Directed by Eames, spoken word artist Poetra Asantewaa’s latest video addresses various beauty stereotypes women have to deal with on a daily basis.

“Love Yourself’, as the piece is titled, was released last year to critical reception. It was produced by Qube, and ultimately charges people to possess a sincere sense of affection for themselves without waiting for permission from another to do so.

Author of the landmark EP Motherfuckitude: The Naked Ones, Poetra (born  Ama Asantewa Diaka) is a 2016 OneBeat Fellow, as well as founder of Alikoto Clothing, Yobbings and Love Rocks.

Watch below:

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Photography & Spoken Word

#ENEWSGHPoeticLicence: Element – Asford Psalms

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There are things that holds the world together.

Some may be visible to our eyes.

Others, not so well or even impossible.

But there is one.

One particular element, we may think is not visible; may be not enough.

But to some, they see it in a colorful spectrum.

And an array of notes with a blend of hearts: spoken through the mouth or corridors of our minds.

We might need not to sing but in meditation, it is felt.

Felt in the innermost cores of our souls.

This is an element that can never be forgotten.

For better or for worst.

Whether we are conscious or we are not.

For it flows in a colorful rainbow affecting the length and breadth of the world.

From soul to soul.

From our heads to our soles, we feel it touching every nerve in our bodies’ and bones.

 

It is an element that teaches us who we are, where we are, how we got here; it shows us the future in tunes and how we can hold on.

 

It is that it is.

It is that which sees no boundaries.

Speaks all dialects.

Knows no age.

Sings many genres.

 

It is the only element that can speak to our emotions at a particular minute.

It is that which touches our hearts, even when we cannot see it.

 

It is: that which can speak a particular language we do not know.

But we definitely, will tag along.

It can make us strong.

Even if we are broken beyond repair.

It is that which can change us from good to wrong.

Or from being bad into a good bond.

It is; that which can bring together or loose forever a tight bond.

 

It is that which sings to all our senses.

 

And there is only one element that has so many defenses.

 

And that is MUSIC.

 

Music is the element that feeds our souls.

Holds us in any weather; hot or in cold.

Music is the only element that transcends every barrier.

Music speaks all languages.

Moreover, it fills our hearts and revives our souls.

It can hold us emotionally, physically and psychologically; if it is seen through spirituality or seen through the world.

 

Music teaches us when to mellow or be bold.

It uplifts us when we are broken and need to be bold.

 

Music can speak to the unknown.

Or speak to us about the unknown.

Through music, we can hear from the forgotten or the lost.

 

Music can tell our story.

How we feel at a point in time.

It is that which tells our emotions whilst we cry or we laugh.

Whether it is day or it is night.

Whether rain or shine.

It let us remember when we were happy or shared a particular glory.

 

Music knows no race.

It is a tool that can bend for evil or for good.

It is that which can change our mood.

See through our pain.

And whatever the genre, we will sing in the clear or in the rain.

 

Music can speak the tongue of consciousness; even in-out of our consciousness.

 

Music takes over when talks and actions fail.

It rolls over when emotion derails.

 

Music has set sail and will never get lost in our oceans of bale.

It will never fall apart even when the whole world does.

 

Music is personal.

But when we sing it along with other elements; whether with hearts or instruments.

And when we sing in unity with other souls, everything else is held captive.

 

Music is what causes a change with respect to time.

Or it will watch time fly without bending to the rules of change.

 

Music is a revolution in evolution.

Music is a story in writing and in telling.

Music is a tale of the past, present and the future.

It is a script of forever.

Music lives in us.

We are music!

 

Music might be a misplaced element.

But it is the key.

It is a flowing tune.

It is a script of forever.

Music is; then; now and ever.

Music lives.

And I believe it is in eternity.

 

 

 

 

Asford Psalms

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Photography & Spoken Word

#ENEWSGHPoeticLicence: Hopeless Hope – Asford Psalm

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Once ago, there lived a man by name Chance and his wife- Hope.

The birth their children; Past, Present and Future.

Long before Present and Future, Past was their one and only.

He got most of what he wanted.

Yet, he grew into what they didn’t suggest.

By his unruly behavior, they begat the Present, his little sister.

Not by his parent’s prayer but the Present got married to what he deserves.

And soon he flew into oblivion to a place where his anger for his parents will travel months before it could reach them.

But their love for him stayed true though they lost touch in all view.

The Present grew half of a day and she saw her mother pregnant again.

Their little family was in a happy display.

 

Hope went into labor and Chance went home to prepare and come to aid her.

Hope couldn’t make it so Future was cut-out for incubation.

The Present and Chance made a back-and-forth; from the hospital to their home, again and again as they hop, hop, hop.

One day, on their way, in the metal horse, his mind was flooded with Hopes thought.

Chance needn’t beg for the same fate.

And amidst all the things constant to change, death wouldn’t obey such laws as made.

The thoughts in his head was a curse of the day as they clashed off the road into a tree in the open plain.

Now, here is the future; dented with the past, no Hope nor Chance but a crippled and dying present.

What has the Future got with none of these around?

Just a word will do.

Do tell when it tinkles in your head.

 

 

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Photography & Spoken Word

25 Years and Counting: Mahama, Lordina Still Going Strong – SEE IMAGES!

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Here are adorable images of ex-president John Mahama as he celebrates 25 years of marriage to wife Lordina.

Indigene of  Damongo in the Northern region of Ghana, he’s alumnus of the Achimota School, University of Ghana, and the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow. In 2012, he published My First Coup d’État and Other True Stories From the Lost Decades of Africa, under  Bloomsbury.

Mahama is father of  five children: Shafik,Shahid, Sharaf, Jesse and Farida.

See the breathtaking pictures below:

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Photography & Spoken Word

#ENEWSGHPoeticLicence: Blister – Asford Psalms

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The spec of birth is with a man

The way to its life is by a woman.

The purest way to this earth is through her labour and her birth.

 

Everyone knows a woman one way or another.

She could be a mother, a sister, a friend, a wife or a daughter.

 

Would you raise your hand against your mother?

Will you dare?

The least said, the better-

If you do, you’ve dishonored a command.

 

Would you raise your hand against your sister?

If you do, then your sense is as tattered as it is bitter.

 

Would you raise your hand up against a friend?

Then clearly you are at your wit’s end.

You have crossed the thin line between sanity and insanity.

She owes you no allegiance.

But even if so, is your hand right way to go?

 

Would you raise your hand against your wife?

Will you dare with person you promised to share eternity with?

If you dare, care to know that the bride’s price you paid is not a price for her abuse.

Put your hands to a good use, it wasn’t created to cause blisters and bruises.

Make prudent, the words you choose, it is worth less than the price of pride.

 

Would you raise your hand against your daughter?

Why not teach her rather than beat her?

Why bleach her eyes to red and let her tears rather be not of joy?

Why burden her eyes and her heart with fear?

She is not worth you nor you, her.

 

Will you raise your hands against your wife or daughter?

If you dare, remember your mother and your sister.

For if you truly dared to raise so much as a finger against them too, then something went fundamentally wrong you.

 

 

Asford Psalms.

 

 

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Photography & Spoken Word

#ENEWSGHPoeticLicence: Chaos Under Peace – Asford Psalm

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Barking dogs lie.

In wait to bark.

Men own their dogs.

Chance-medley they switch post wouldn’t it be of interest what they will do in the body of the new host?

 

Men are not dogs.

They don’t bark.

 

But dogs are dogs.

Expect as such.

 

Dogs are not men.

Neither men, dogs.

 

Men don’t bark.

Dogs do.

But even without the switch, they both do something your mind has refused and eschewed.

Thinking,

Just maybe a chance be given, they both switch posts.

Wouldn’t it interest you what they both are capable with the will to do?

 

Asford Psalms.

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