TO OBSERVE AND BE INTRIGUED – Random Film Documentations By Sandy Van Den Brink

A man checks the engine of his car.

Random Photo Journal started a Journal Project focused on African Unification through collective memories… For the series, we spoke to Sandy Van Den Brink about her last trip to Ghana which she documented on film.

Developing film can take weeks. The anticipation that builds up between the time in which the photos are made and when you receive the film is what most photographers describe as a tiny holiday. There is even a much greater feeling of excitement attached to film photography than there is with digital. Unlike digital photography, you do not have the luxury of seeing the image as soon as you make it.

It is what makes these series of photographs special because, to be honest, owning a smartphone which comes with a camera is common; with that comes the ideology that “everybody can be a photographer.” And in a way it is true, but, if you have a genuine interest, I believe that a strong grasp of the different techniques is important, especially film.

How did you feel about your trip to Ghana

“I came to Ghana with a clear open space in my mind which otherwise would be stuffed with preconceived notions, a loose mental bucket list and other prospective thoughts that come to occupy the mind when a trip is planned; there were, however, hints of excitement about the food I wasn’t able to keep out the door. Not allowing these types of prospective thinking helped me realize the sole plan: to observe & be intrigued.”

Why visit Ghana?

“I came because I was invited by my friends who are Ghanaians but based in the Netherlands to visit and spend Christmas with them at their grandparents home at a place called Sowutuom, Accra.”

Were you intrigued by your observations?

“Well, these images come close to what I’ve absorbed and marvelled at and what memories I cherish and will be cherishing.”

How long did you stay?

“Roughly 2 weeks.”

Where were these pictures taken?

“Most of them are pictures of my friends. Some of the pictures were taken in Accra and our trips to Aburi and other places.”