Thompson Ekong, photographer and visual director of Baroque Age, a conglomerate pushing the New Age movement through its various subsidiaries, presents a new visual capsule titled Studying. Ekong breaks the series down into two parts tagged ‘Feel At Home’ and ‘How Far Can We Reach’ as he presents images that he intends on having, portray steps in the right direction and breaking away from norms.
Feel At Home is further broken down into three statements. ‘Raw’ shows Africa growing in its natural element, uncompromised by the pressures and influences of the external world. Redefining our culture and the internet’s role in affording us access to more tools and information leads to the next statement ‘Control’.
‘Control’ is the revolution taking place, a revolution establishing more avenues of self-actualization and confidence in in order to improve and restructure the chaos brought upon by our uncertain past and humanity as a whole.
‘Raw’ and ‘Control’ are intertwined statements showing the essence of feeling at home and the last statement ‘Experiment’ encourages us to embody the change that has resulted and remain confident about our ideas and vision ensuring we explore our world without ever conforming. According to Thompson:
“Each image created is a gaze towards our future. We’re looking forward with hope, with our women more empowered and our men more focused. I used women to portray this directly as they embody the entirety of our values and their image is a celebration of the glory shelved in our continent.”
The second part, ‘How Far Have We Reached’ sees TSE look into innovation.
Things like social media have succeeded in democratizing information. Through our various feeds the world feels closer and in some regard. Today’s Africa is represented better and our views are represented in greater weight than in the past.
Sometimes the creations of minds like Elon Musk are beyond the reach of African minds stuck in third world states but as we grow, we’re getting access and also control of these avenues, pushing ourselves to create ours, using these tools as ways of improving our own state.
It’s a study Ekong uses to call out more minds from our new age Africa, to take hold of everything around them.
Breaking away from the norms also involves self portrait photography, presenting your photography masterpiece to the world. Selfie is today’s digital norm, but people can now take photos of themselves, being proud and confident.
Regardless of a person’s race, color, or nationality, self portrait photography gives relentless freedom, allowing each individual’s personality to shine through. Unlike social media selfies that practically chronicle one’s day-to-day activities, self-portraits go beyond a simple snap or on-the-go photography. A self-portrait is well-shot, composed, and thought-out, creating a lasting impression. It tells a visual story, genuinely appreciated by people who personally know you.
In Africa, both men and women can be proud of their color, culture, and traditions, like any other person. They can engage in self-portrait photography and show the world the beauty of their unique features and personalities. Gone are the days when Africa is seen as less than any region in the world.
Photography makes everyone equal. With the new age, everyone is beautiful, unique, and worth appreciating. Whatever subjective views people have, photography and other works of art show everything, stimulating different emotions and thoughts. Hence, Ekong truly captures the essence of visual arts in a capsule, standing proud above the rest and changing the world’s view about Africa.