Keta hosts first ever photo exhibition

Frank Tagbor

A three-day and first ever photo exhibition in the Volta Region will be on display from April 16-18, over the Easter weekend at Vui-Keta. The exhibition opens from 9am and closes at 5pm daily. It will showcase the works of veteran and iconic photographer, Frank Kodzovi Tagbor of Agfa Photos fame.

The range of photos on display straddle the 1950s and 2000s, close to seven decades and include social, political, educational, cultural, religious, individual and family collections among others. The exhibition, billed to be an annual event, is free but donations towards the establishment of a foundation that will organize the event going forward are welcome. * (Please find below accounts—MoMo and bank—for the donations.)

For those interested in the development of photography in the last seven decades, photographic equipment from the beginnings of FK Tagbor’s work, the 1950s to the 2000s will also be on display.

Thus, those with an eye for the technological history of photography can feast their eyes on old equipment that did the trick before today’s technological revolution of selfies from phone cameras.

FK Tagbor as he is popularly known, is a self-taught photographer who started photography as a hobby whilst still in elementary (now basic) school. When he finished Standard 7 (today’s BECE) in 1952, after a couple of years at Anlo State School having spent most of his schooling years at Dzelukope RC School, he started professional photography from the Tagbor family home in Ashigame, Dzelukope. His was what would be called today a ‘table-top’ enterprise as his studio was a table with the legs covered with cloth which was his ‘dark room’ where he developed and printed the photos. At 92, FK Tagbor, looking back, with nostalgia, says today’s photography is no ‘work’, as it does not involve much creativity, with all the latest technological developments and modern gadgets in use.

The collections depict close to seven decades of FK Tagbor’s work involving his photographic coverage of activities like sports, speech and prize-giving days of the secondary schools in the southern Volta, Ketascho, Ketabusco, Anseco, Spaco and Zico, the Basic schools (Dzelukope RC A and B schools, Dzelukope EP, Vui Zion, Keta RC, Keta EP, Keta Zion and Anlo State schools) churches like St. Peter Claver RC Parish, Dzelukope, the St. Michael-Pro Cathedral, Keta among others. The Hogbetsotso Festival of the Anlo and other traditional events also feature greatly. Political events from the pre- and post-independence era are not left out. In all, the exhibition tells the story of southern Volta over half a century through the lens of FK Tagbor.

Quite a number of apprentices passed through the hands of the self-taught photographer. One of the pioneer apprentices was the late Stella Tamakloe who could pass for an emancipated woman as undergoing photography apprenticeship by a woman was yet unknown in the early 1960s.

Ms Stella Tamakloe ended up working with the Information Services Department and went for further studies abroad as part of Nkrumah’s policy of women empowerment in the immediate post-independence years. Others like Mr. Moses Adzaho, currently operating under the tradename, Uncle Smiles, have their studios in Keta. FK’s son, Chris Tagbor, has taken after his father and runs Chriss Photos, which has more or less replaced Agfa Photos after the father’s retirement. The tradition goes on.

For an eyeful of history, family lore, tradition, all roads, all eyes lead to Vui-Keta from Holy Saturday, April 16 to Easter Monday, April 18, for the first ever, the grandest photo exhibition, on the southern shores of Ghana. On show are not only the sights of Keta but the sounds as in the diverse traditional music of the Anlo, the sizzling and mouthwatering cuisine of the Anlo and to cap it all the proverbial friendliness of the people of the area.

*MoMo: 0595733779 (Dr. Anne Adjoe Kokui Tagbor)

* Bank Account: CalBank Plc, Harbour Branch, Takoradi
Account Name: Anne Tagbor
Account Number: 1400000319998

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