Eric Gyamfi in Conversation with Adelaide Damoah: Art Discussion

Artistic Statement:

I am interested in using photography as a starting point to interrogate established social systems, labels and separation within the contemporary Ghanaian context and of the people that live outside of these systems one way or the other.
Who makes up a majority and when does one consider him/herself a part of a minority. Are people who live outside of these systems necessarily minorities? What are the intersectionalities between the two and how do the people found outside of these perceived social systems negotiate their lives around the accepted routine. How consistent are the convictions of being in a majority and vice versa.

My first venture into this subject was on sexual identity. Through self-portraits, I began to explore the possible reasons why I considered myself a minority and whether that consideration was valid. I explored the idea of separation again, positioning myself as an in between, within the political and socio cultural space, of my country Ghana, who is still negotiating her way between the old and modernity, and the repercussions from these tensions. I created Asylum, figuratively as temporary safety while I still went on figuring out where I fit within that space.

After I created the witches of Gambaga, I began to be drawn to the ideas of oneness and the universality of some experiences. I became interested in presenting human sameness, our connection as living things. My current work, “…Just like us…” is a furtherance into the same idea of oneness, while paradoxically, touching on the idea of separation. Still working on gender and sexual identity primarily, this work still questions the validity of the built social system, which automatically requires people to live within or outside of it. i am particularly interested in this concept from the point of African sexualities and how they come together with class, gender, and ability to inform self expression and systematic oppression. It is still very much about the quest to secure a sense of self and place within a space that is also struggling for same.

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