The Instant Ghana Project aims to break down cultural stereotypes and support grassroots heathcare in rural Ghana using Polaroid cameras.
The Instant Ghana Project was started in summer 2007 in the rural communities of the Kwahu region in Ghana, West Africa. Six Polaroid cameras were donated to members of the community who are working within the grassroots healthcare movement (The Rohde Foundation). This movement is aiming to increase malaria awareness and prevention as well as working to build a clinic that would service small communities in an area where the closest hospital is two hours away.
Each participant in the Instant Ghana Project was asked to photograph what they were proud of in their community, as well as what they felt needed improvement. These photographs are then documented and emailed to the U.S. where they are posted online and eventually will be made into a book in Fall 2008. Film is shipped throughout the year, depending on funding.
The aim of the Instant Ghana Project is to increase awareness of cultural stereotypes that exist in communities around the world by crossing language barriers through the photographic medium. Participants are allowed to be creative with their shots and to express their community pride on an international level.
The Instant Ghana Project started while on a volunteer trip with the Rohde Foundation www.jesserohdefoundation.org and continues to work with the Rohde Foundation to document the healthcare movement happening in rural Ghana.
The initial support for the project came from a grant through Tufts University's Tisch College of Active Citizenship Summer Fellowship. Money from the grant provided the initial cameras, polaroid film, 35mm film and processing funds to support my photographs as well as money to display the work in a solo show upon my return. Photographs taken by me are sold to directly fund the project and keep it alive.
As a young artist eager to get involved with activism and international communications, I have supported the project with my own photographs taken in Ghana in the summer of 2007. These photographs challenge the stereotypical view of Africa as a whole by removing a location and focusing specifically on the individuals in the communities involved.
Jessica Goehner January 2008