Eric Gyamfi (Ghanaian, b. 1990) is a lens-based artist living in Accra, Ghana, who uses his work as a window to explore and help bridge realities that exist both inside and outside of his own experiences. He is currently a second-year fellow attending the annual Goethe-Institut Photographer’s Master Class (Khartoum, 2016; Nairobi, 2017). Gyamfi is also a recipient of the Magnum Emergency Fund (2016) and participated in the World Press Photo Foundation Masterclass West Africa (Accra, 2017).
Gyamfi received a bachelor’s degree in information studies and economics from the University of Ghana (2014) and studied photography at the Nuku Studio in Accra. The Open Society Moving Walls Grant will support the expansion of his “Just Like Us” project, including a touring exhibition and public programming.
Who are the friends and couples in these photographs and how do they live their everyday lives? What are their motivations and beliefs? How do their lives and experiences intersect with mine? How similar or different are we?
The photographs in Just Like Us are the beginnings of an ever-evolving journal on the lives of some of my queer friends in Ghana, whom I consider to be collaborators of the work.
As I meet more queer people in Ghana, they will continue to help expand this visual record of daily life that exists outside, yet also inside and alongside, heteronormative society.
Just Like Us attempts to represent queer people in Ghana as both members of a distinct community as well as critical contributors to the country’s social fabric and history. Although this project uses sexuality as a starting point, its aim is to photograph people as they are, alongside all of their other intersecting identities and interests.
In showing queer people here in Ghana as their whole selves, I aim to provide a starting point for conversations and challenge preconceived notions of what queer people look like and how queerness is represented.
—Eric Gyamfi, October 2017