History Felicia Ansah Abban, Ghana's first female professional photographer.

Felicia Ansah Abban, Ghana’s first female professional photographer.

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Felicia Ansah Abban

Felicia Ansah Abban was Ghana’s first female professional photographer. She worked as a photographer for Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, for many years during the 1960s. Her career spanned 50 years. Her photography career began when she learnt photography from her father, and became his only female apprentice at the time.

Felicia Ansah Abban frequented her father’s photography studio as a child growing up in Sekondi-Takoradi, in Ghana’s Western Region where she was born in 1935.

 The eldest of six children, Abban became her father’s apprentice at the age of 14 and spent the next four years working under his meticulous and methodological eye before leaving her hometown for Accra at 18 as a newly married young woman to setup her own photo studio.

Felicia was married to Robert Abban (late), the man who designed the fabric which had Kwame Nkrumah’s portrait designed on flowers with Ghana map for Ghana’s independence celebrations in 1957.

The first public display of her work was staged at ANO’s gallery in March 2017 and the gallery has plans of transforming her studio into a museum in her honour. The museum when completed will help preserve her work further serving as a hub to support upcoming artists.

Abban’s private photo collection consists of photos she often takes of herself before she attended events. She retired from photography as a result of a worsening arthritis condition.

References:

  1. Best, Tamara. “Portraits by Ghana’s First Woman Photographer”. The New York Times. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  2.  Bowles, Laurian R. “Dress Politics and Framing Self in Ghana: The Studio Photographs of Felicia Abban”. Muse.jhu.edu. Muse.jhu.edu. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  3.  “Felicia Abban: Remembering the Woman in all the Portraits”. Aha! Review. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  4.  18 November, Mark G. Davis; Am, 2017 at 11:11 (14 November 2017). “17 West African womxn photographers changing the world’s visual language”. Between 10 and 5. Retrieved 29 December 2018.

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