The European-descended aristocracy in Ghana
…aren’t what they used to be. Once the proud leaders of a country full of promise, these well-to-do fellows are increasingly relegated to Ghana’s collective memory.
The latest (and final) piece of Empire: Migrants looks back at Ghana’s aging elite through the eyes of the Dutch-descended photographer Isaac Vanderpuije, owner of the Deo Gratias photo studio. At its height in the early 20th century, Deo Gratias was the most successful photo studio in Accra. Although the studio has fallen on harder times in recent years, its walls are still decorated with images of the unofficial nobility—including a good number of Freemasons—who came to have their pictures taken. These sharply-dressed men created a hybrid culture that drew from European and African style in equal measure.
A meditation on personal presentation and the power of images, the last section of Empire: Migrants investigates the importance of recording history before it fades away.
Stay tuned for news about the film as it comes together, and for information about upcoming screenings.