Prepared for Jaiva D. | Delivered February 26, 2020
Role of Representation in the Media
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To identify 2-3 of the most popular social media profiles and social media influencers and provide insights on how they are changing the African narrative to counter negative stereotypes.
Nana Kofi Acquah
Nana Kofi Acquah is a "Ghanaian journalist, photographer, poet, painter, blogger and activist known for championing women's rights in Africa; and also influencing and
on Africa mainly through photography."
Nana Kofi Acquah has
followers on his
He is also a regular contributor to the Instagram account
, a popular account with more than
followers which "showcases images that counter the
that have long defined an entire continent’s image from the outside".
feed has spurred a movement of "similar ‘every day’ projects in different parts of the world that aim to
of their cities."
One of Acquah’s popular images is a photo of his children playing on a
. People were surprised that children in a fishing community in
could own modern electronics.
Nana Kofi Acquah stated in an interview that “as a photographer, his core job is to
.” He also stated, “If we are not willing to start conversations, no
are ever going to happen."
He was listed as one of the
worth following on Instagram by
Prince Gyasi has
followers on Instagram.
His photographic works provide a
contrast to the solemn depictions of African life.
He is "a self-described iPhone
and artistic vessel; using imagery as his medium to express what he sees and feels".
His body of work "conveys arresting and
, often featuring portraits of friends, family, and muses in emotive poses against colored backdrops."
and his partner created a photographic project called ‘
’. "The project attempts to help creative, underprivileged children in Jamestown to pursue their
through access to education. The term ‘boxed kids’ describes children who are trapped in a place or situation; specifically referring to the difficulties experienced in Jamestown."
In 2018, he was signed to
Nil Gallery Paris
and had a solo show there. "His works have also been exhibited at the
Seattle Art Fair
2018, the Pulse Miami Beach Contemporary art fair, and the Investec Cape Town art fair. Vanity Fair included Prince Gyasi in their article “
of the Most Exciting Artists to Follow from Miami Art Week 2018,” rating him as number
five out of nine
In an interview he stated, "for me to show that I am a Ghanaian, I have to make sure the
here are told... To be able to get the truth out there, I have to do it myself. I am not going to wait for someone to tell me that this is how the story goes. It’s been done before, and we need to
that. It is important for us to use our art to
tell the truth
Josef Adamu has
followers on Instagram and is a Toronto-based creative director and model.
He mentioned in an interview that he is "a firm believer that everyone has a
to tell, which others can learn a lot from," and that "
authentic black stories
should not go overlooked.
In 2018, he started the agency
, as "his outlet for personal projects and as a service to execute ad campaigns and manage social media for up-and-coming people and brands, all with the main goal of bringing
authentic black narratives
into greater prominence in American culture."
He is tapping into the market of "
," as there aren't enough of these stories being told through minority backgrounds and he wants to contribute to solving this problem.
He is working with musicians like
and Jazz Cartier, and "rapidly growing a portfolio of photographic and video works to show how to better present a more
of stories in the media."
Laetitia Ky has
followers on Instagram and over
She is an
Artist who makes inventive sculptures with her hair and also works as a fashion designer.
Her work aims to "promote a vision of
grounded in precolonial aesthetic traditions; a commitment to
; and a well-defined feminist politics."
Her works also act as social commentaries. In 2017, she "designed a work in which a male figure looks up the skirt of a woman as a comment on the pervasiveness of
and victim-shaming. In protest of American
, she unveiled an image of a uterus with each
tube flipping the bird."
For this hour, we identified popular social media profiles and social media influencers and gave insights on how they are changing the African narrative to counter negative stereotypes. We were able to identify Nana Kofi Acquah and Prince Gyasi, and included insights on Josef
and Laetitia Ky.
In the course of our research, we also came across some insights on the power of positive storytelling for the African narrative and insights on how
is creating a different narrative for Africa, which might also be of interest.
Feel free to select or add an option below.