When American or European photographers venture into the heart of Africa, they often return home with beautiful shots that don’t always reflect reality. As a result, we have become accustomed to a certain image of the African continent, one that certainly exists but is not the only one. When we think of countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, and many others, we often envision images characterized by dark, unsaturated colors and associated with negative stories. Perhaps this is why Derrick Ofosu Boateng‘s photographs surprise us so much that we doubt they are real, that they were taken on a carefully prepared set somewhere else in the world. But no, Derrick Ofosu Boateng, born in 1999, is from Ghana and currently resides in its capital, Accra, which has become his personal set over the years, always ready for the next photograph.
Unlike many others who started their photography journeys with courses in academies or universities, Boateng began taking photos only when his father gifted him an iPhone to support his passion. The iPhone quickly became the medium through which he could share his personal vision of Ghana. Breaking away from the common imagery, Derrick Boateng’s photographs capture the true essence of his country, shaped by the people who live there.
Forget about the grays because his shots are a true explosion of vibrant and oversaturated colors, the best demonstration of how photography can be pop. Boateng’s perspective is a different one, and perhaps it’s the perspective we needed on a culture and a land too often tied to a negative narrative created by those who don’t live there every day and don’t call it home.
ph. courtesy Derrick Boateng