Elihu Ashong: A Modern, Non-Conformist Photographer
power that a single photo wielded and it led to me striving to become a mouthpiece for people that do not have a voice, and shine more light on the aspects of society that often go unseen.
"Photography is a form of expression that is multilayered, and should certainly be perceived as such."
I remember picking up my first digital camera in 2005, and sneaking around to take pictures of my family while they were going about their days. This was my first official foray into the creative space and that year has since been profound for me. I enjoyed capturing the countenance of their faces and trying to decipher what was going on in their heads. Over time, societal issues became paramount and piqued my interest, and slowly, I wandered from human interactions to studying society.
I began to use photography to depict what's happening in society at a particular time – for example, the ‘Complex Sheen Series’ was conceptualized during the earlier stages of the black lives matter movement when I began to question West African responses to the racially motivated executions of our brothers and sisters in the West. In a more conservative space like that in Ghana where I currently live, my pieces sometimes come across as being controversial but they appeal to everyone because they incorporate reality.
At the risk of backlash, my belief is that we do not challenge ourselves enough, and we do not allow our minds to wander enough, especially in more conservative regions like Africa. In spite of the talent and drive that exist, the demise of classism is one that hasn’t been completely achieved yet for the most part. Art isn’t supposed to be classist. It has the ability to be a representation of society, and as such, can be an agent of change. As creatives, and part of a collective, we should all aspire to influence as many people as we can to discover the power that is resident within them, regardless of your medium of expression.
Post by: Elihu A.