HOMEGOING AND FAMILIAR JUXTAPOSITIONS – By AMINA OSMANU

Random Photo Journal created a Journal Project focused on African Unification through collective memories and we reached out to frequent travellers around the African continent and asked them to share a series of photos that represent a memory about a place they visited, currently or in the past, attached with a story that led to why they made such photos. This project is an experimental medium that seeks to include, more than those on the continent, but those who are in diaspora and visit frequently or randomly to share their own stories about returning to the African continent, either as a form of reconnection or for friends and family.

For the series, we interviewed Belgian-Ghanaian Indie singer, songwriter and videographer Amina Osmanu.

A tiny introduction will be nice.

“My name is Amina Osmanu, I was born in Belgium to a Belgian mother and a Ghanaian father, which is funny because they never really got along but tolerated each other. I am a Muslim, though I have always been to Catholic schools so I was a Christian in school and a Muslim at home. My dad was pretty strict with me and, to be honest, I was scared of him when I was little (laughs). It felt like he could only show two types of emotions; anger and happiness. My father was never ashamed of his origins and would tell stories about Ghana that always sounded so intriguing. Also, I’m the oldest of five siblings, three brothers and one sister. I love and cherish all of them.”

You are more of a singer and into making videos, how did these photos come about?

“I was experimenting with my camera and then I just decided that I needed to document how my family was in that year.”

Which artist discipline helps you express yourself best?

“Anything that makes me feel alive and free basically. But I do tend to lean more towards musical or physical expression.”

Why is your art and style of documentation necessary?

“I think because it’s just raw and honest and I didn’t use my mind to make these pictures, that’s the space where I feel that true art comes from.”

What is the story behind your favourite photo in this series?

“It’s hard to choose, but I think my favorite is the one with my grandfather sitting next to my father. We went to this village where my grandfather was being taken care of by another family and we all sat down and looked at this display of my father having a conversation with someone on the phone and my grandfather patiently waiting.”

What made you visit Ghana?

“Family visit. We try to visit every year.”

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