Ch 1 - Getting Adjusted
And so it begins...
Traveling to a new country carries a lot of responsibility. Add a toddler to the mix and that responsibility multiplies. Last week, my family moved from New York City to Ghana for an 8 month adventure full of unpredictable experiences. I received a Fulbright award to photograph Ghanaian dance and music and the influences on Western culture. There is a connection between hip hop, reggae, r&b, and jazz that links directly back to the African continent. They are all kindred rhythms. I am aware that this continent is massive and Ghana is one of many countries that have influenced musical traditions throughout the world. Dance and music has been utilized as a form of celebration and mourning. It has been used in preparation for war and as a form of resistance. I am tasked with capturing this connection through photography. This is a huge undertaking. But this is simply a starting point — a brief introduction to a much larger conversation. Although I have only been here a week, I decided to take it slow and observe my surroundings before diving into photographs. The views and opinions are my own. Peace.
The house we are staying in has an empty garage space which we've converted into Talib's playground.
There are steps, uneven surfaces, and holes in the ground for the sewage system. It's all concrete. I want him to play but I don't want him to fall. Next door lives two kids. Together, we watch them run, jump and dive on the floor playing football. They are resilient. I loosen my grip on Talib and let him run.
Everywhere I've lived with a high concentration of African and Caribbean immigrants, there's always been an alternate mode of transportation. It's usually cheaper and faster than the public buses. But there was also unpredictability. In Jamaica, Queens and Flatbush, Brooklyn we had "dollar" vans. In Dominican Republic we traveled in "voladoras" or "conchos." Now we get to see where this culture of alternative transportation originated. Here in Ghana, folks ride the TroTros. Again, they are faster and much cheaper than taxis but share the same predictability issues.