Good News - Kyle Weeks
"In Accra, Ghana – an African metropolis hugging the continent’s west coast – new waves of fashion, music and creative expression frequently rise to the surface.
Historically, this pulsating city has long been a key point of exchange between Africa and the West, for better or for worse. Today, rapid social transformation brings with it new cultural shifts – fuelled by an exuberant and free-spirited young generation ; a generation that looks outwards, designing and building its dreams with the things at its disposal.
On my first visit to Accra in 2016, the impeccable taste of its fashion-conscious youth made a lasting impression. Cutting through the outdated tropes of Africa’s visual representation, the city’s cosmopolitan locals – with their proud and authentic approach to style – evoke the portraits of pioneering West African photographers like James Barnor, Malick Sidibe, Philip Kwame Apagya and Seydou Keita. Defiant and confident, this smartphone generation demands to be seen, and the ubiquity of cameras offers another means of self-expression and identity-building.
Over the past six years I travelled to Ghana intermittently, staging portrait sessions with a number of locals. Alongside landscapes and still-lifes, the portraits I shot – spilling between city streets and domestic interiors – put youth at the forefront. Posing like models, these young men and women defy expectations, blurring the lines between conventions of masculinity and femininity, and reflecting the significance of style as a marker of selfhood in the contemporary African city. "
Of the 400 copies of the Good News book printed, 70 will be taken to Ghana and distributed freely among the project's participants. This decision also influenced the choice to leave the book unbound, allowing people to easily disassemble it, share images with their family and friends, or even display spreads on their walls if they wish.
Born and raised in Namibia, Kyle Weeks (b. 1992) is an interdisciplinary photographer whose work explores questions of cultural transformation, social identity and self-expression. Subverting photography’s normative conventions, upending the historical power dynamics of picture-taking, and honoring the authenticity of his subjects represent key aspects of his practice.
Softcover in screen printed PVC sleeve
Hand stamped cover
100gsm recycled paper
Edition of 400 copies
400 x 317mm