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Born in 1929 in Accra, James Barnor is considered a pioneer of Ghanaian photography. His career covers a remarkable period in history, bridging continents and photographic genres to create a transatlantic narrative marked by his passionate interest in people and cultures. Through the medium of portraiture, Barnor’s photographs represent societies in transition: Ghana moving towards its independence and London becoming a cosmopolitan, multicultural metropolis.
This monograph is a comprehensive survey of six decades of his photography with 200 images, texts by Kobena Mercer and Renée Mussai, plus an interview with the artist by Margaret Busby OBE and Francis Hodgson.
Barnor began work as a photographer in Accra in 1947 where he set up the Ever Young studio, taking photographs of the local community. He also worked as a photojournalist for the Daily Graphic and the South African anti-apartheid black lifestyle magazine Drum, which led him to London in the 1960s. Barnor returned to Ghana at the end of the 1960s where he helped open the country’s first colour-processing laboratory. In 1993 he returned to London where he continues to live today.
Edited by Renée Mussai. Published to accompany, and expand on, Autograph's major touring exhibition of James Barnor's work.
Published by Autograph in association with éditions Clémentine de la Féronnière
410 x 260 mm