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CELEBRATION OF FEMALE PHOTOGRAPHER PIONEER IN GHANA FELICIA ABBAN.

CELEBRATION OF FEMALE PHOTOGRAPHER PIONEER IN GHANA FELICIA ABBAN.

felicia abban first female photographer in ghana

In her day, Felicia Abban was one of the most respected female photographers on the continent. In Jamestown, Accra, Felicia Abban established her “Day and Night Quality Art Studio” and enlisted other women as her apprentices. A number of nearby studios included James Barnor’s Ever Young  Studio and J.K. Bruce Vanderpuije’s Debratias Studio, which did not intimidate her but rather acknowledge her as one of Ghana’s first solo and powerful female photographers. Self-portraits are one of her most famous works and were very reminiscent of fashion magazine images that had a contemporary touch. These diverse photographs are all connected by the way that Abban uses clothing to express a feminine identity that is contemporary and traditional in an artful way to portray a transnational and urban feel.

She began her photography career 50 years ago when she became her father’s sole female apprentice where she learned photography and married Robert Abban, the man who designed the fabric for Ghana’s 1957 Independence Celebration, which featured the First President of the Republic of Ghana’s portrait on flowers with the Ghana map. She worked for Kwame Nkrumah and provided detailed analyses of her country’s transformation. ANO’s gallery held the first public exhibition of her work in March 2017, and plans are underway to turn her studio into a museum.

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